Hillsboro city employees have not received cost of living raises for quite a while, but salary adjustments will appear on their first payroll checks in January, thanks to council approval of an administrative proposal Tuesday.
“We haven’t given any raise for two years,” said council member Bob Watson. “Whether you call it merit raises or salary adjustments, I’m glad we were able to give something.”
City Administrator Larry Paine proposed salary adjustments for full-time city employees regulated by time clocks.
“What I was trying to do was come as close as I could get to a 2 percent adjustment,” Paine said. “We have budgeted for these pricing increases.”
Paine’s approved proposal included a pay-rate raise of 20 percent for reserve police officers and 15 percent for firefighters in the coming year.
“I hope it will help those division heads with recruitment and retention,” he said.
The council also approved budget amendments for four projects funded by city revenues.
“The funds we have identified where we need to account for additional expenditures are the special highway chip seal program, municipal court, the K-9 department, and equipment replacement,” Paine said. “We just have this money to spend and if we don’t do it, we could lose it.”
Paine said the budget adjustments in question would not affect any property tax levy funds.
Budget amendment amounts approved by the council were $164,123 for the special highway fund, $4,600 for the municipal court line, $3,000 for K-9 expenses, and $38,545 in equipment replacement costs.
Equipment lease program
An equipment lease program needing approval from the council involved the Bobcat skid steer tractor used by the city.
“Every year we lease a brand-new skid steer for the street department,” Paine said. “At the end of the year, we return the equipment to the company, the lease ends, and then we are offered a new one.”
Paine said the chief benefit of this program, offered by White Star, is that the company can then resell the used bobcats at a greater price than original government pricing offered to their municipal clients.
“It works for us because we get to use a new bobcat each year and do not have to maintain it into the seventh or eighth year,” Paine said. “It’s really a factory promotional deal for the company.”
The council approved a new yearlong lease of a Bobcat Skid Steer from White Star for the price of $3,900. The lease amount has not changed during the several years the city has taken part in the program.
In other business:
- The council approved a payment request for sewer projects completed of $19,169 to Evans-Beirly-Hutchison and Associates, and $222,190 to Wildcat Construction Company.
- The council approved mayor Delores Dalke’s board appointments of Lyle Leppke and Jared Jost to the Airport Board, Steve Noble to the Recreation Commission, and Jared Jost to the Salem Home Board of Directors.
- Paine identified three areas of progress in his city administrator’s report: the purchase of an electrical power plant with the Kansas Power Pool organization, tasks completed as part of the city sewer project, and bond issue closings.
- The council approved cereal-malt-beverage licenses for Cooperative Grain and Supply, Hillsboro Municipal Golf Club, Casey’s, and Alco-Duckwall store.