CHIPLEY - Council members discussed taking a serious look at a pay rate increase for some city employees.

While presenting his July report to the Chipley City Council at a workshop Thursday, Director of Public Works Guy Lane explained to the council his staff is down by three, and will be one more less by Monday.

It's a pay issue, he said.

In FY 2017-18, the budget included about $106,000 in employee raises and a new pay scale which brought the base hourly pay rate to $10.12. The then newly approved pay schedule brought raises as high as seven percent to some employees, and at least three precent to all employees.

However, with the police department being "the lowest paid in the area," according to officials, the council is requesting City Administrator Dan Miner to look at the upcoming budget for an opportunity to increase wages.

"Work something out," said Councilwoman Linda Cain, who recommended to assess the budget for pay increases before the budget is passed next month. "We need to look at their salary, and go up."

Councilman Kevin Russell was just as vocal, emphatically stating, "We owe it to our employees."

Mayor Tracy Andrews position was that the council can also amend the budget later on, as it is paramount to look at "a bigger picture here."

"We're going to have to figure out how we can generate some funds" to maintain the raises. "I'm hopeful," she said.

The final budget hearing will be held at 5:05 p.m. Sept. 26 at City Hall.