Increases in wage ranges and pay in 2021 have been proposed for Crothersville town employees.
During a recent meeting, the Crothersville Town Council unanimously approved those changes along with new titles for some of the utility workers.
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The town attorney will draft an ordinance for the council to consider for approval at the Sept. 1 meeting. If approved, the changes would go into effect in January 2021.
Council President Danieta Foster and Councilman Jamy Greathouse presented different proposals for the police department, town hall staff and utility workers for the council to consider.
For the police department, Foster proposed the annual rate for a new officer at $41,496 if they haven’t completed the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy or $43,680 if they have graduated. They would receive an annual 3% raise, but on their fifth and 10th years, it would be 5%.
Pay for the senior patrol officer will be equal to the salary for the year of longevity plus $4,500, while the police chief’s salary will be equal to the salary for the year of longevity plus $9,000.
Greathouse’s proposal was 3% raises each year across the board until the 10th year. Then starting with the 11th year, a police department employee would receive a one-time $500 bonus for each year of service above 10 on their hire date. So Year 11, they would get $500, and Year 12, they would receive $1,000, and that would continue to go up $500 each year beyond that.
Greathouse made a motion to accept Foster’s proposal and amend it to include the above 10-year retainment bonus, Councilwoman Katie Masters seconded and it was approved.
For the town hall and utility employees, the wage ranges were changed because they are outdated, and several employees are close to being maxed out, Foster said.
“There’s no reason to do it this year and then do it again next year. We might as well just raise them all and have a set range,” she said.
Greathouse said he looked at the ranges of towns similar to Crothersville’s size that run their utilities.
“With the crew that we have, we aren’t where we need to be as far as those go, as far as retainment of those guys,” he said. “It would be too easy to go to a town of similar size and make more money. I think it’s something that we need to expand the ranges so that we can be able to look at the wage increases to put us at least at the same level as other towns in our same structure, size and tax base.”
The proposed wage ranges are $18 to $25 for the office manager, $16 to $25 for the first deputy, $15 to $20 for the second deputy, $20 to $30 for the sewer, street and sewer superintendents, $19 to $25 for skilled full-time field, $18 to $25 for skilled full-time utility, $10 to $20 for skilled part time and $10 to $15 for unskilled part time.
For Crothersville Utilities, Greathouse proposed job title changes of Roger Jewell as sewer superintendent and Mason Boicourt as utility director, the latter being a newly created job title. Currently, Boicourt is sewer superintendent and Jewell is a skilled worker who has a sewer certification.
“It really wouldn’t be a big change in the role he already plays. He would be our grant contact with utilities, and that’s basically the change that would be made,” Foster said of Boicourt. “Roger is already certified for sewer, and he can do the job when Mason’s not there, so it’s an easy step for him to step up into that position. When the guys need something, they all work together, but Mason does a lot of things.”
Mike Deaton as street superintendent and Chris Mains as water superintendent will keep their same titles.
Mains spoke in favor of naming Boicourt utility director.
“Mason’s the guy. He does everything,” Mains said. “Truly, Mason is a blessing for this community. He’s so intelligent and can do anything. This is the guy you can never let get away, I’m telling you.”
“There are a lot of things that Mason’s doing to help out,” he said. “There are a lot of things he’s doing to catch up on things that have been neglected for a long time, stuff as far as the GIS, as far as mapping water lines and sewer lines and things that have just completely not happened for a long time.”
Greathouse said it’s important to have a person who can talk to the other utility employees and find out how they are doing and give a report to the town council.
“He gave me a 20-minute conversation on exactly the reason why I think this town needs to go that direction, and I think it will help us move forward from where we are with our utilities and help us strengthen that department to be able to keep it in and continue it as many other small towns have been losing them,” Greathouse said.
In many larger towns, Foster said sewer, water and street superintendents have staff working under them.
“Our guys have each other. They do everything. If you see a hole dug, you’re going to see all four of them there,” she said.
“It will never change. It will still be the same,” Boicourt said.
After that discussion, the council approved the proposed hourly rates of Jewell, Deaton and Mains at $22 and Boicourt at $25. Gaining new licensing will grant them $1 more per hour.
Plus, the council approved the proposed increase of $1 per hour for town hall employees, setting the office manager at $19, first deputy at $18.19 and second deputy at $16.45.