CHIPLEY -- "Thank you." Those words rang from public seating Tuesday night after Chipley City Council unanimously approved an up to nine percent salary increase for City employees.

"They acknowledged that there is a need," said waste treatment operator John Nelson, who said he started at the City in 2004, making $7.05 an hour. "We haven't had an increase in the wages since 2011."

The vote was unanimous, with council member Karen Rustin making the motion for approval and council member Brett Butler giving the second.

"We talked about it last year, a little bit; but, we finally did it this year," Mayor Lee Dell Kennedy said, following Tuesday's regular council meeting. "Because of the budget, we saved some money the last two years and put some money back in the budget. So, we can do that now."

The salary adjustment, which will cost the city about $106,000, will impact all employees with the exception of department heads, officials said. An annual three-percent raise and the newly approved pay scale is rolled into the proposed City budget and the budget is balanced, according to officials.

A public hearing for the final millage and budget adoption will be held 5:05 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 1442 Jackson Ave.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Mayor Lee Dell Kennedy was presented a plaque by council member Brett Butler, on behalf of the council, for six years of mayoral service.