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St. Marys civic employees may get raises by 3 percent
ST. MARYS -- After six years of frozen wages, St. Marys municipal employees may be getting a raise.

During a workshop Monday, St. Marys city officials discussed a study that shows employees are underpaid by 2.7 percent below the market minimum and 8.1 percent below the market midpoint.

City officials are considering establishing a new minimum pay range that would pay employees a competitive wage with other municipalities. City officials may consider a 3 percent raise for all employees when the issue is discussed at a future meeting.

A series of meetings are scheduled to discuss the creation of an enterprise zone, said Artie Jones III, the city's economic development director.

Jones said such a zone would help stimulate economic and business development. The meetings scheduled in June will help determine if the city is eligible to establish a zone.

Barbara Ryan, vice chair of the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance, expressed concern about an item that was tabled Monday before it could be discussed.

Ryan said a proposal by the city to create its own film commission adds another layer of bureaucracy city officials don't need. Also, the proposal would have required the film authority to perform duties that it's incapable of doing, such as issuing permits.

Ryan said city officials will meet with the film alliance before the proposal is considered at an upcoming meeting.

Near the end of the meeting, Ann Stone, co-owner of the three-masted schooner Steel Away, announced the boat would be leaving the St. Marys waterfront as a result of the conflict over docking rights and conflicts with crab fishermen who have set so many traps in the water it's difficult to anchor the boat.

She said a handful of residents have "set the city back years" because of the docking restrictions enforced on the waterfront.

"They have harmed the community as a whole," Stone said.

Councilman John Morrissey, who conducted the meeting in the absence of Mayor Bill Deloughy, said he was sad to see the boat was going to leave the waterfront. Stone didn't say where she was heading after she leaves St. Marys.

"Everybody in St. Marys values the waterfront and how important it is," Morrissey said. "Nobody is pleased with the fact Steel Away is leaving."

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about government and other local topics. Contact him at, on Facebook or at 464-7655.

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