May 31, 2005
Albany- For Leroy Price, cleaning out storm drains for a living, means making a living on little more than minimum wage.
"I have to do a lot of budgeting, some things I can't get them like I want them, but just keep it at a budget," Price said.
But after 12 years of work, the price of Leroy may be going up.
"Quite frankly, from the mid-level manager on down they're underpaid," said Phil Roberson, director of public works in Albany.
Ninety percent of these workers make less than the state average for others who do the same job.
"It's sort of hard, but you have to budget yourself and get by," said public works employee Darrell Bryant.
By the end of the summer their paychecks will have more punch, if city commissioners vote for the utility rate increase.
"It's one that I don't think the average citizen minds compensating these folks fairly for the work they do," Roberson said.
Work that is vital in severe weather.
"When you have storms and tornadoes and hurricanes, they're out there doing the job."
A job these guys are loyal to.
"Cause I really like what I'm doing," Bryant said.
It's even better when liking your job pays off.
"You want to be able to enjoy some other things in life, so you want to be elevated to the level of pay so you can enjoy those things," Price said. "You got to be able to make ends meet."
At the end of the day, Leroy Price leaves knowing he's done his part by meeting the needs of the city.
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