LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie City Council has been looking for a company to conduct a classification and compensation study to evaluate all city positions.
These studies typically help an organization or municipality determine if its current compensation structure is appropriate or needs adjustment.
They can also help to determine whether or not the current job classifications need adjustment.
Such a study could also make it easier for the city comply with statutory requirements regarding pay equity legislation.
During the Sept. 8 council meeting, City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk told the council she has been contacting companies that provide this type of service, but so far, has only received a response from one of them.
She noted there are relatively few companies that do this type of work. The cost of a study could be as much as $10,000, Pawelk said, but a cost estimate will not be available until she gets responses from more potential service providers.
If the council makes the decision to move forward with a classification and compensation study after receiving quotes, the process of completing a study will likely take a few months, Pawelk noted.
The council approved hiring Christopher Bahr to fill the full-time city maintenance position vacated when Adam Birkholz was hired as the city’s new community development coordinator.
Approval was 4-1, with council members Larry Hoof, Tim Dahl, Bob Messer, and Ron Foust in favor, and Mayor Eric Angvall opposed.
Angvall objected to the starting wage of $19, noting the hiring committee had agreed to make an offer of $18.50 per hour. Hiring Bahr at $19.00 per hour puts him at the top of the range for the position approved by the council, which is $16 to $19 per hour.
Angvall agreed that Bahr will be an asset to the community, but said he is nervous about going to the maximum pay from the start.
It was noted there will be a six-month probationary review for the position, but there is “nothing else on the table at this time [in terms of compensation increases].”
Twenty-four people applied for the position, and the council, and the top five candidates were interviewed.
The consensus of the council was that Bahr was the best-qualified candidate for the position.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved purchase of office furniture for the two new city offices for the city clerk and the economic development coordinator at a cost not to exceed $8,000.
• adopted a resolution approving the revised personnel policy.
• approved repairs in the city cemetery at a cost not to exceed $7,500, plus the cost of black dirt. The work involves re-setting and stabilizing existing monuments. It does not include repairs to monuments.
• approved purchase of a basketball hoop for the city park at a cost of $996.
• approved a mutual assistance saturation effort with the Minnesota State Patrol for traffic safety enforcement and improving traffic safety. Police Chief Bob Carlson said many city residents travel on Highway 7, which is included in this agreement.
• approved purchase of two benches for Bulldog Field at a cost of $1,186 plus shipping.
• approved purchase of two desktop computers and one laptop computer plus software for the city office at a cost not to exceed $12,000.
• approved the purchase of four cell phones at a cost not to exceed $2,000.