Council talks about salaries and benefits | News, Sports, Jobs

FAIRMONT — Fairmont City Council discussed on Monday whether or not to change the salaries of council members.

Reynolds said the city charter directs the council to review the salaries of elected officials and civil servants and make any adjustments by June of each municipal election year.

Currently, city code sets the mayor’s salary at $4,800 and council’s salary at $2,400, which includes per diems for out-of-town meetings. It also provides that Board members are entitled to all benefits to which full-time salaried employees are entitled.

Salaries for the mayor and council came from other communities in the area such as St. Peter, Marshall, Brainerd and Albert Lea. Fairmont was the lowest for both of all other communities.

“As I’ve said before and I’ll say it out loud, we’re not really an outlier, but when it comes to health insurance, for someone who makes $2,400 a year and can get a benefit of $10-15,000 seems totally bogus to me.”, said Council Member Bruce Peters.

He noted that some use it and some don’t. He said he thinks they should get paid more and make money what they want.

Board member Britney Kawecki agreed with Peters and said an email said the board hadn’t received a raise since the 1980s. She said benefits have increased by significantly over the years, for members who take them, it’s a benefit to them.

Board member Michele Miller asked where the money would come from if they were to raise the salary. Reynolds said any adjustments would not take place until 2023 and would only affect the three positions up for re-election this year. She said whatever happens will be taken into consideration when developing the 2023 budget.

Peters said it’s a fine line because council members do their jobs as a public service, not for the money, and they wouldn’t want a salary high enough for people to come in just for the sake of it. money.

Council member Wayne Hasek said he would like it to stay where it is and council member Randy Lubenow agreed. He noted that getting people to run for the board is difficult and the perks could be a selling point for some. Miller said she would also be in favor of it remaining as is.

Ultimately, the board decided to take no action on the matter.

Moving on to other matters, Chief Financial Officer Paul Hoye provided the board with the water park’s 2021 report. He said just under 21,000 people used the facility, down from 12,000 in 2020, although Hoye noted they were only open halfway through the season that year. He said that’s typical of numbers from other years though.

As for passes, 52 individual passes were sold and 244 family passes were sold.

“This is the most passes we have sold since the park opened in 1999,” Hoy said.

He added that the number of people taking private lessons was also on the rise.

The report said revenue was also good at $193,000, $24,000 over budget. The expenses amounted to just over $620,000, so there was a loss of $426,000.

Hoye said there were a number of larger capital projects over the years, including pool resurfacing and equipment replacement. Slides got some work too

Finished. He said that in the future there will be smaller projects, so they expect lower spending.

There are some slight changes in operations regarding personnel. Betsy Steuber was used more at town hall, so they considered hiring a pool manager who would work under Steuber. They hired someone to fill that position.

Hoye said they currently have 40 lifeguards hired for the season, but are still looking for seasonal employees, so if anyone is interested in lifeguarding, they can contact City Hall.

The Water Park will open on June 3. It will be open from noon to 6 p.m. until July 15 and from noon to 8 p.m. on weekends. As they progress through the season, they will also be open until 8 p.m. on weeknights.

In addition, council approved a contract with 292 Design Group for architect/engineer services for the proposed community centre.

At the April 25 meeting, council had approved the selection of 292 Design Group, and city staff have been working on contract denials ever since.

Under the contract, 292 will provide phase one services for $55,000. Phase two fees range from 6-6.6% of the construction cost of the works depending on the amenities included in the final design.

Peters asked why they were approving the contract if all the money needed for the project had not been raised. Lubenow noted that $4.5 million was raised. Peters pointed out that the money was pledged and not collected.

The board approved the contract 4-1 with Hasek voting no.

In other actions, the council:

– Approved a grant agreement to complete the rehabilitation of the airport building with the estimated cost of the project at just under $50,000 and the total local share at just under $15,000 which was budgeted . The other funds will come from a state subsidy.

— Heard a summary of the May 9 annual performance review of City Administrator Cathy Reynolds. Mayor Deb Foster said that prior to the session, council and some staff completed an evaluation regarding Reynold’s performance. She said that overall the board said they were pleased with Reynold’s performance to date. The board recommended a chilling 4% raise for Reynolds, which was approved at Monday night’s meeting.

— Imposed a civil penalty of $750 on the Channel Inn. On December 31, 2021, an employee sold an alcoholic beverage to a minor authorized by the Fairmont Police Department to participate in liquor licensee compliance checks.

– Imposed a civil penalty on IYS Ventures, LLC, d/b/a I Mart Stores after failing a tobacco compliance check performed by the Fairmont Police Department on December 11, 2021. The company was sentenced to a $300 fine.

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