By Bob Simmons
The city of Moscow Mills took steps forward in finding and attracting employees by voting for a pay increase for employees at their monthly meeting.
Mayor Patrick Flannigan addressed the board on a study of salaries as the city has had issues of employee turnover. The city currently ranked low compared to other area cities in salaries.
“We are having employees leaving after a short period of time and it is time to address reasons why,” he said. “We have been a training site for employees who go on to higher paid positions. We invest money into providing training and they leave so soon.”
An example is the starting salary for a road officer has not changed in 10 years, said Police Chief Terry Foster.
Flannigan did an analysis of the salaries. He then proposed a 7.5 percent increase or a 10 percent increase for all employees excluding department heads and one employee who came in at a higher rate. The 7.5 percent increase would add a slight increase to the budget. The board decided to approve the lower proposal.
The new salary structure will begin retroactive to the current pay period.
With elimination of summer positions and other adjustments, the board also approved the hiring of an additional employee in the public works department. Supt. Donny Hopkins already was short one employee.
“Our town is growing and our crew is stretched too thin to cover the work,” said Flannigan.
In another move, the board approved a motion adding changes to police employment. Before a candidate is offered a position, he or she would agree to compensation back to the city for cost of training, equipment, and uniforms up to three years. The cost would be lower each year in the reimbursement.
“The city invests funding in its officers and they leave without having to reimburse us,” said Flannigan. “The uniforms and the vests alone can not be passed down to new employees, for example.”
They awarded the concrete bid to Orth Concrete for street repairs on the street which serves Daddy Ray’s plant. This calls for a temporary road so access to the plant and area can be maintained. Cost of the project is $19,319.