Dassel city employees to get 4 percent raises in 2008

December 10, 2007

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Dassel city employees will be getting 4 percent cost of living adjustments in their wages starting Jan. 1. There are nine full-time employees.

The Dassel City Council approved the personnel committee’s recommendations last Monday. The personnel committee includes Council Members Bob Wilde and Bob Lalone, Public Works Director Dave Scepaniak, and City Administrator Myles McGrath.

The committee had a recent report from the Bureau of Labor statistics detailing the Consumer Price Index for the past two years. During 2007, the cost of living rose 3.6 percent to 4.3 percent. Also, energy prices increased 20 percent and medical costs increased 14 percent, according to the committee’s report.

Also, the city council approved moving three employees up their ranges in the salary scale on their anniversary dates. On Jan. 1, both Liquor Store Manager Marvin Vetsch will be moved to the top of his job position range to $1,804 every two weeks, and public Works Maintenance Work Jay Evjen will be moved up to the next increment in his range, $15.15 an hour.

McGrath’s salary will be increased to the top of his salary range April 1 to $2,579 every two weeks.

In addition, the council added longevity pay and incentives to the employees’ compensation packages. Employees will get 0.1 per hour longevity pay for each five years of service.

Water and waste water plants require certified operators, so the public works department will have incentives to achieve those levels of certification and licenses. The council approved $50 a month more to achieve Waste Water Class D, $100 a month for Waste Water Class C and $200 a month for Waste Water Class B, $100 a month for Water Class D, and $200 a month for Water Class C. The incentives are not stacking, though. When the employee achieves the next level of certification, he does not continue to receive the incentive for the previous level.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• heard a report from Vetsch that the Liquor Store sales should have 2 percent growth for the year. Sales usually are good around the holidays, even if the weather is poor, he said.

• approved Scepaniak’s plan to buy a new dump truck to replace the 1982 truck, as long as he doesn’t spend more than $145,000 on it. The current truck is “tired” and has caught fire twice. Scepaniak said he is looking at trucks from Sterling Truck of Rogers and J-Craft of Lake Crystal. The money already is in the proposed 2008 budget for the truck, which will take 10 weeks to receive, once it’s ordered, Scepaniak said.

• planned to discuss with the fire department using grant money to install dry hydrants near area lakes, so fire trucks don’t have to drive all the way back to Dassel to get additional water. Dry hydrants have pipes underground, so they don’t freeze in the winter. The pipes are connected to a lake, McGrath said.

If firefighters need additional water to fight a fire out of town, the pumper truck can be connected to the dry hydrant and water is pumped out of the lake, he said.

• set Monday, Dec. 17 for finalizing and adopting the 2008 budget and levy.

• listened to a report from Meeker County Deputy Bill Hudson that there were 102 calls in November. Residents are cooperating with the snow parking ordinance. Also, some of the items that had been stolen from Thirsty’s Tavern in November have been found, he said.

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