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New staffing positions highlighted in City Council 2024 budget overview

Tuesday night's session provided a generic overview of the 2024 budget report. The proposed general fund expense is $66,014,998 and of that amount 72% will go towards employee payrolls and benefits.

(Left) Robin Lockman, city treasurer and Mayor Patrick Collins (right) during the March 2 budget overview work session. (Zoom Screenshot)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — During Tuesday night’s work session, Mayor Patrick Collins and City Treasurer Robin Lockman explained to councilmembers the importance of accommodating several new staff positions into the 2024 city budget.

Over the next two weeks, councilmembers will hold work sessions to review the city’s proposed 2024 budget. This will determine how much funding city departments, city projects and other operations will receive in the next fiscal year. The mayor, city treasurer and department directors begin compiling the proposed budget report in January of each year. Before the budget can be approved, it undergoes multiple work sessions and readings by the City Council for revision.

Tuesday night’s session provided a generic overview of the report. The proposed general fund expense is $66,014,998, and of that amount 72% will go toward employee payrolls and benefits.

“As you can see, we spend the majority of our resources on our most important asset, which is our employees,” Collins said during the session.

Included in the budget are the salaries and benefits of 433.6 full-time equivalent positions, which is an increase of 13.4 positions from the last fiscal year. The new positions will cost the city a little more than $3.47 million in the 2024 general fund budget than in 2023, Lockman said.

“Increasing staffing level is necessary to meet the expectation of Cheyenne’s growing population as well as allow staff to focus on governing body priorities,” she said during the session.

The nine new positions added in the 2024 budget include:

  • One Assistant City Attorney
    • This position was included in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget; however, a full-time prosecutor was hired instead using these budgeted funds.
  • One Police Records Technician
    • Replaces a position lost during the reduction in force in 2020.
  • Two police officers
    • The officers will serve on the Problem Oriented Response Team.
  • One Municipal Court Technician
    • The technician will help staff manage the court’s increased case load.
  • One Municipal Services Officer
    • The officer will assist with increased demands in security services at the municipal courthouse and parking garages.
  • One Heavy Equipment Operator
    • The operator will provide essential services to the city as part of the Streets and Alley division.
  • One Community Recreation and Events project manager
    • The manager will help facilitate the multitude of projects out to bid or under construction.
  • One Senior Planner
    • The planner will assist with long-range planning.

The following new positions, which are also included in the 2024 budget, were first added in the 2023 one after it was approved.

  • One Senior Accountant
  • One Public Defender
  • Two Downtown Development Authority staff

In addition new staffing positions, the follow factors also influenced an increase in payrolls and salaries:

  • Amendments were made to the Fiscal Year 2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City of Cheyenne and the Cheyenne Fire ghters I.A.F.F. Local 279
  • In January, the governing body approved a 2-6% wage increase for all full- time employees. Similar increases were made through the Collective Bargaining Agreement approved in March 2023. 
  • An ordinance change was approved to increase councilmembers’ pay for those individuals who were elected after January 1, 2023. 
  • The city contracted with Employer’s Council to conduct a compensation market analysis in the 2023 fiscal year. As a result, 40 employees fell below the minimum of their pay grade. To address this, a resolution was approved in February to increase these employees’ wages to the new minimum pay range.