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Breezy Point: Council hears compensation study results - Administrator search continues

The Breezy Point City Council heard updates on the city's recent compensation study and the search for a new city administrator at its Monday, Nov. 6, council meeting.

Tessia Melvin, of David Drown Associates, presented her findings from a classification and compensation study. In the study, the firm reviewed and amended city employee job descriptions, analyzed salaries and compared them to market rates and provided a framework for the city to implement the plan. The National Joint Powers Alliance helped with the study and paid most of the cost.

Melvin said job descriptions didn't change much except for one instance. In the public works department, the heavy equipment operator and the wastewater operator were combined into one position called public works worker, and a new position - associate planner - was created.

In terms of pay, the study compared Breezy Point employee salaries with those in Emily, Pequot Lakes, Nisswa, Crosby, Brainerd, Baxter, Crosslake, Staples, Aitkin and Walker. Melvin said, for the most part, Breezy Point was above market rate for pay but slightly below for benefits. But there were two positions, she said, that were below the market minimum found in the study.

Melvin gave the city council four options to get Breezy Point more on par with average market rates. The first option was to move all city employees up to the market average for their position, which would cost the city about $30,806. Melvin said she didn't recommend that option because it doesn't account for how long employees have been there.

The second option is to move everyone to at least the market minimum pay. The two employees who are below the market minimum would be moved up to that minimum pay, which would cost the city $2,891.20.

"We would recommend that that's a priority because you want to at least pay what the market pays," Melvin said.

Option three is to move all employees to a new 10-step system, where pay would increase for each year of service. Staff members who have been with city more than 10 years and more than 20 years would receive additional compensation.

The last option Melvin gave was to move all employees into the 10-step system and then move them up to the next step, guaranteeing at least a 2.5 percent raise for everyone.

The council agreed that options three and four seemed best, but council member Michael Moroni said he would like to run the numbers by the personnel and finance committees before approving anything. In the meantime, the council accepted the study, with the new job descriptions. Melvin said she will still be available through the implementation stage to help the city get where it needs to be.

City administrator

With City Administrator Joe Rudberg set to retire March 15, the city is looking to David Drown Associates for help to find a successor.

Gary Weiers, of David Drown Associates, shared with the council the new job description, responsibilities and qualifications for the position. Council members approved the description, and Weiers said the job was to be posted Wednesday, Nov. 7.

After candidates apply, are screened and complete a questionnaire, Weiers said he will narrow the pool to 10-12 finalists that he will bring back to the council. Council members will then meet Jan. 4 to decide which candidates they want to bring in for interviews, which will take place near the end of January.

he goal is to have a new city administrator in place by the end of February.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Agreed to pay $69,310 to Crow Wing County for the 2017 seal coat project. The initial cost estimate was $78,325.38.

• Heard the city will have saved $3,696 in 2017 under the Crow Wing Power cooperative's municipal meter relief program. Under the program, the city has 14 meters for which the cooperative is forgiving the normal monthly service fee.

• Heard the Pelican Lakes Conservation Club will donate $182 to the city for veteran graves in the Pelican Woods Cemetery.

• Nominated Moroni to fill a four-year term on the National Joint Powers Alliance Board of Directors for Sub-Region IV.

• Accepted the donation of a tactical shotgun from Chuck Beavers, of Kel Tec. The shotgun is valued at $990 and can immediately be put to use. The city plans to assign the gun to Officer Elisha Dwyer.

• Approved the purchase of motor grader rotating bit system for $4,263.06. This system will help the public works department reduce the time spent grading and give more durable results.

The Breezy Point Police Department responded to 198 incidents in October, including seven crashes, two traffic arrests and two thefts. Police assisted other agencies 30 times.

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