Brownstown Town Council approves raises for town employees


Across the board, employees and elected and appointed officials of the town of Brownstown will receive raises at the start of 2019.

Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said increases of 3 to 6 percent will be given to all town employees.

That includes 20 full-time workers and around 35 part-timers, he said. The full-time people include police officers, the street and utility superintendents and employees, the clerk-treasurer and his assistant and the janitor. Most of the part-time workers are at the pool, including concession workers and lifeguards receiving 50 cents more per hour.

The five town council members also will receive raises. The town’s park board members, cemetery board members and caretaker and plan commission and board of zoning appeals members are included in the salary ordinance, too.

Full-time employee wage rates are determined by base pay plus years of service, determined by their hire date.

“The ranges would be the beginning of starting salary up to what the maximum would be if you work 25 years or more. There’s a longevity,” Willey said. “There’s an increase every year of service. Our matrix, depending on how many years you’ve got, you can get anywhere from 5 cents to 25 cents.”

Willey said he established the matrix about six years ago because he didn’t like how pay rates were set up before.

The town will contribute up to $8,000 per eligible employee to the VALIC deferred compensation plan per year, given the town/sewer funds have the cash balances available. Installments are payable up to $2,000 per eligible employee at the end of each quarter during the current calendar year.

One difference with the 2019 matrix for the police department is changing the assistant police chief from hourly to salary. Willey said police officers receive raises every year because of the matrix.

In 2016, the department joined the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund, and the town contributes to that Public Employees’ Retirement Fund for all eligible officers.

In 2019, the police department plans to add an eighth officer, so that had to be added to the budget.

In terms of giving raises, Willey said he has to see if the town has money left over from the year before and if the town is staying within its budget.

“Overall, we did,” he said. “The only place we really went over that I didn’t think we would was the police department. I knew it would be close, but I didn’t think it would be that excessive. Other than that, we did pretty well.”

He said the police department had proposed going to 72-hour pay periods for two weeks instead of 80 this year, but that never happened. The salaries have been based on 72 hours.

“That’s one of the reasons they went over. The other reason was because of the time that we had to pay off some vacation hours,” Willey said. “There were several factors that went into that.”

The council unanimously passed the salary ordinance.