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Alexandria City Council: Water issues, APD salary study, Harry Silver last meeting

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 11:08 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - After dealing with issues with water pressure for the last week, the City of Alexandria is no longer asking residents to conserve water but the water boil advisory does remain in place.

Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall said that the city started the water testing process on Tuesday after the water levels returned to normal. These tests should take a minimum of 24 to 48 hours, and the water boil advisory will be lifted if the samples are determined to be clean.

At the first city council meeting since the ice storms, many council members expressed their concerns with the city having to conserve water for almost an entire week.

Councilman At-Large Lee Rubin said his home was one of the many that were affected by the leaking roofs. Rubin said at the meeting that this isn’t the first time the city has had this problem and is hoping to conduct a post-storm evaluation to see what can be done about the issues.

Rubin wants to make sure that the city is doing everything in its power to restore the water as soon as possible so it doesn’t lag behind surrounding areas and municipalities.

“I asked the mayor if they could have a review of the procedures and how to move forward to see if anything can be done,” said Rubin. “If we can find those answers and those solutions to expedite the repairs, I’m sure the council would do everything we could to make that happen.”

Mayor Hall said they are having conversations with state legislators to help try to speed up the recovery process when a storm does come through.

Also at the council meeting, the council unanimously voted in favor of performing a salary survey for the Alexandria Fire and Police Department.

A pay study has not been done in Alexandria for those departments in 13 years. The survey is designed to look at the current salaries and how they compare with the surrounding areas. The study will also look at how many people have left for other departments.

The current starting salary for APD is $34,000 and $24,366 for the fire department. This process is expected to take anywhere between a month to a month and a half to complete and is expected to cost $5,950 to complete.

“Let’s see what the pay scale really looks like in the competitive markets of municipalities and see how we can march toward that number, not just with dollars but maybe other benefits that could come along with it,” said Mayor Hall.

Tuesday’s council meeting also marked the last for District 4 Councilman Harry Silver. It was announced at the last meeting on Feb. 9 that Silver would step down at the end of the month.

Council President Jim Villard presented Silver a plaque commemorating him for his many years of service. Silver has served on the council since 2005 and at 99 years old, was believed to be the oldest elected official in the nation. In his resignation letter, Silver asked that local attorney Maria Losavio take his seat.

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