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North Little Rock to give all city employees 2% pay raise

City leaders are saying thanks after employees spent thousands of hours repairing damage in North Little Rock left by the March tornado.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The City of North Little Rock has approved a 2% raise for all city employees after a month and a half of cleaning up tornado damage.

North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick said recognizing those employees is essential.

"Thank y'all for all y'all done. I appreciate you so very much," Hartwick said. "You're above everybody. Our city came together like no other city has. We cannot do it without you."

That hard work is something Parks and Recreation Supervisor Joshua Lewis is familiar with, working with the city for over seven years.

"It was devastating," Lewis said. "It's very emotional to see all the hard work we did for the park destroyed that way."

The tornado walloped Burns Park. Although it's tough to see the damage, Lewis said he's not thinking about his emotions, and neither is anyone else.

"It's hard work," Lewis said. "Knowing that we're helping people...just giving people peace of mind knowing that we're doing something to get our city back to where it was before or better."

According to Hartwick, the hard work of city employees should be recognized, more specifically, their gratefulness.

"I feel pride in our city," Hartwick said. "Somebody asked me did I expect that, and I said 'yes'... I think it's right that we give them what they deserve."

The 2% raise is retroactive to March 31 and continues from there. Money for that raise comes from city funds and the money given back from FEMA.

It's something that Lewis and his team appreciate.

"This is something special now for those in the door," Lewis said. "It shows how much the city appreciates our hard work."

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