LEWISTON – Councilors gave City Administrator Jim Bennett a 5 percent raise Tuesday and extended his employment contract by one year.

The City Council also agreed to give Bennett access to a city vehicle, rather than pay him a $400 per month stipend. Bennett said he will use a new cruiser destined for the Lewiston Police Department, according to the agreement.

“That should end up saving us money, about $1,800 per year,” Bennett said. “I’ll get it before it’s modified for police work and use it for a while, maybe put 6,000 or 8,000 miles on it and then pass it back to the police. I’ll sort of break it in.”

Bennett was paid a salary of $88,500 per year when he was hired last year. Tuesday’s raise increased that by $4,500 per year, to $93,000.

The council also extended Bennett’s contract through March 2006. The original agreement put Bennett in the job through March 2005.

Bennett’s old contract gave him a monthly $400 stipend to pay automobile expenses. The city will still give Bennett $150 per month to pay for after-hours job access and other incidentals, including home Internet service, a second telephone line and his cell phone.


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