Town Council Wrestles With Employee Salaries

In a move to tie salaries to the annual budget process rather than wait until December to hurry through any increases, the Crothersville Town Council discussed at length salaries for town employees for 2013 when they met last Tuesday, Oct. 2.

And there was not always unanimous agreement.

The council first established wage parameters for all town positions.

Council president Ardell Mitchell said that the council had three options. “We can do nothing an continue along as we have in the past (in setting salaries), establish a minimum and maximum to be paid for each position, or approve step incremental increases.

Council members agreed doing nothing was not a good option and that approving incremental increases now when future revenue is not certain would not be wise.

Establishing a range of wages paid for each position, each councilman offered his views on employee position worth.

In the end the following salary and wage range was approved.

Police Department

Chief of Police, $16-$20/hour; Senior Patrolman, $12-$16/hour; Patrolman, $10-$12/hour.

Town Office

Office Manager, $12-$15/hour; Deputy Clerk, $11-$14/hour; 2nd Deputy Clerk, $10-$13/hour; Skilled part-time office, $9-$12/hour; Unskilled part-time office, $7.50-$9/hour.

Utility Workers

Street/Water Superintendent, $12-$19/hour; Sewer Superintendent, $12-$19/hour; Skilled Full-Time, $9-$14/hour; Unskilled Full-time, $7.50-$10/hour.

Elected Offices

Clerk-Treasurer, $9,500; Town Council, $2,400.

The salary ranges were approved by a 2-1 vote with Mitchell casting the dissenting voice.

Once the salary ranges were established, the council set about to determine each employee’s pay for 2013. As with the salary ranges, each councilman was polled to gain his input and the results approved were not always unanimous.

The following salaries were approved for next year with the number in parenthesis the salary paid for this year.

Police Department

Chief of Police, $16.50/hr ($16); Senior Patrolman, (won’t be filled immediately due to the reported retirement of Sgt. Vurlin McIntosh before the end of the year; Patrolman, $12 ($10.80).

Town Office

Office Manager $14 ($14); Deputy Clerk, $13.16 (13.16); 2nd Deputy, $10 ($9.75).

Utility Workers

Street & Water Superintendent, $13 ($11.50); Sewer Superintendent, $13 ($11.50); Skilled Full-Times, $11.75 ($10.50), Skilled Part-time, $9.27 ($9.27).

The salaries to be paid for 2013 were approved 2-1 with Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson casing the dissenting vote.

In other matters, the council turned down a request by Craig Heindel, co-owner of Penn Villa Apartments, to install privately owned water meters and have the town read them and bill the tenants individually.

Currently, the eight unit complex uses two meters for which Heindel is responsible for paying for all water consumed.

He related that sometimes there are leaks that he is not aware of and by the time they are discovered and repaired, water bills to him are quite large.

“People are using but they aren’t accountable for the water costs. And sometimes tenants leave without paying for their water,” he said.

He proposed to install interior meters in each apartment that would be able to be read for the outside by town water utility workers.

The council, however, was not interested in the proposition.

“We have had similar requests in the past and have denied them,” said Mitchell. “I am not sure that we could even allow such a proposal based on our local water ordinance. I believe this is an internal matter with (Penn Villa) and their tenants that doesn’t involve the town.”

The often discussed liquidation of town surplus equipment was on the table again. This time Councilman Derrick Minton proposed an auction for all motorized vehicles and other equipment no longer needed by the town. The council decided to sell all motorized vehicles and a town owned tractor by sealed bid at the November council meeting. Other surplus equipment is to be auctioned sometime in the spring 2013.

Because of the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, the usual meeting night for the town council; the town council moved their November meeting to Monday, Nov. 5, at 5:30 p.m.

Trick or Treat night in Crothersville will be on Halloween, Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 5-8 p.m. Residents welcoming trick or treaters are asked to turn or their front porch lights.

Large trash pick-up will begin in Crothersville next Tuesday, Oct. 16, on the east side of the railroad south of Howard Street. The east side of town north of Howard Street will have large trash pickup on Oct. 23; and the area of town west of the railroad will have large trash pickup on Oct. 30.