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Council OKs budget, creates 5 new positions within city

    At their meeting Tuesday evening, The Statesboro City Council passed the proposed fiscal year 2011 budget, which included the creation of five new positions within the city.
    In a unanimous vote, the council created the positions of public safety director, fire commander, police commander, police lieutenant for training and chief financial officer. The new jobs were created as a result of the council’s decision to restructure the city’s police and fire departments, eliminating the fire and police chief position and combining the responsibilities into the public safety director position.
    The city also accepted termination agreements from former police chief Stan York and former Fire chief Dennis Merrifield. In addition to retirement benefits, York will receive a $40,000 one-time payment. Merrifield will receive a $20,347 payment and three months of health coverage for him and his family.
    As anticipated, the council also renewed contracts with the Statesboro Arts Council, the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority and the Statesboro Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. While the SAC and DSDA received one-year contracts, the city only renewed the SCVB’s contract for six months. As spelled out in the contracts, the SAC will receive 35 percent of the city’s hotel/motel tax, while the DSDA will receive 25 percent and the SCVB 40 percent.
    The city also announced a retirement party for York and police officer Frank Roach to be held at the police station on East Grady Street today from 3-6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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