|Village board approves employee wages, discusses animal complaint procedures|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Friday, 23 November 2012 16:51|
By Sheri Hink
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta Village Board met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the city building.
Village board members Page Johnston, Tony Cribelli, Lloyd Sinner and Lynn Brunkhorst were present for the meeting and Beau Kramer was absent.
Deputy Sheriff Mike Dukes, Sunrise Heights Administrator Lisa Kisinger and Village Attorney Arlan Wine were also in attendance at the meeting.
The Wauneta Village board heard recommendations for employee wage increases from Village Clerk Evelyn Skelton and Village Superintendent Bill Bischoff.
Bischoff stated he had contacted other area towns/county in order to compare starting wages for the utilities department employees to wages received by comparable employees.
Through his research he discovered that other entities had starting wages higher than those currently being paid to village utilities employees. Therefore, Bischoff suggested raises designed to move village utilities employee wages closer to those paid by similar entities in the area.
The library board submitted a suggested wage increase for the librarian and the village superintendent asked for a 1.5 percent raise. The remaining village employees received raises that worked out to approximately 3 percent.
Salaries and wages for all village employees for the coming year include:
Wage increases for the village employees will be effective retroactively to the beginning of the village’s year on October 1, 2012.
Village board member Tony Cribelli told Bischoff and Skelton, “We really appreciate the work you all do.”
Bischoff returned the statement by saying, “I for one would like to thank you for looking after my employees, who are your employees.”
During his report Deputy Sheriff Mike Dukes reported that the number of animal-related complaints in Wauneta is up from previous months.
This spurred a conversation at the village board meeting regarding the procedure for handling animal complaints within the village, especially those which would not merit a citation.
It was decided that the present procedure would remain in force. Currently, the village encourages those with an animal complaint to call the sheriff’s dispatcher to report the issues. The dispatcher then calls a city employee to research the issue and pick up the animal if warranted. This allows for the incident to go on public record.
If the report is of a vicious animal or a report of animal abuse or neglect it will be handled through the sheriff’s office.
Deputy Dukes also reported that eight of 260 doors checked during October were found to be open. He urged the village board to remind business owners to check that their doors are locked.
It was also reported that the expenses for the new sheriff’s vehicle should be completed. The sheriff is considering an update to the radar equipment in the vehicle but is hopeful to find grant money to cover or offset the purchase.
Nursing home report
Lisa Kisinger, administrator of Sunrise Heights of Wauneta, reported things are going very well at the facility. There are currently 34 residents living there.
The village board reviewed the nursing home’s financial statements and approved a bid from Einspahr Construction for $1,472.50 to install tuff liner on the walls of the kitchen.
Kisinger also noted there was an accident where the railing along the front steps of the facility were hit by a car. She is currently searching for a contractor to replace the railing. The cost will most likely be covered by the individual’s insurance.
Kisinger has also been doing research into the wages paid to Certified Nurses Aides and Medication Aides. It was discovered that other area nursing homes had raised their starting wages for these two positions, causing Sunrise Heights to lose employees.
In response, Kisinger has raised the wage of many CNAs and CMAs.
Kisinger reported that Dr. Garcia will remain as the medical director for the facility. Although he is no longer employed by the Chase County Community Hospital, he has been hired at Dundy County and will continue his direction at Sunrise Heights from there. Dr. Garcia is paid $100 per month for his services.
Bischoff reported a service alert on the village’s four electrical transformers to the village board at the meeting last Tuesday.
The service alert has appeared due to moisture within the transformers. A hot oil clean is needed to eliminate the problem.
Bischoff has recommended the village have the hot oil clean done on two of the four transformers instead of all four. He justified this suggestion by explaining that one of the transformers is a spare and the another is already scheduled to be redone.
The cost to complete a hot oil clean on the two transformers is expected to be approximately $11,000. Bischoff will discuss the issue with the vendor and bring an estimate back to the village board at a future meeting.
Bischoff informed the village board members that there has been significant progress made on the village’s water project.
Currently, all of the village’s wells are running on variable frequency drives. These drives are designed to slow down the pull of water as it’s taken from the wells, which will hopefully lower the arsenic levels in the village’s water to within the allowable range.
The SCADA systems, which will monitor the wells using a computer system are not yet operational.
Once in place, the SCADA systems will allow the village’s wells to all work together to meet water demands. They will be somewhat internet-based, allowing for remote monitoring of the system and the wells.
The SCADA control boxes require a heated/air conditioned environment. The village is in the process of building a 6- by 8-foot building for the SCADA system. Bischoff explained that they will use a spare heater to warm the building this winter and that other environmental controls will have to be researched for the future.
Once the project is completed it will take one year of sampling to determine if the variable frequency drives and SCADA system will correct the village’s water issues.
Village Clerk Evelyn Skelton notified village board members of the upcoming audit of the village’s finances. The audit has been schedule for early December.
She also informed the board that she has been researching the costs and risks associated with the village accepting credit cards. She has heard a presentation by one company and has plans to look into other options before bringing it back in front of the village board for a decision.
Skelton also brought up optional insurance providers for village employees. Currently, the village purchases accident and partial disability insurance for employees through AFLAC. Colonial Life has dropped off information about similar coverages to the village office.
The costs to the village are very similar between the two companies and so the village board decided to leave the choice of providers to the individual employees.
In other business, the village board approved a request from Jan Coone with Mid Plains Community College to use the Wauneta Public Library to house a “Learning English” class on Thursday nights.
The request had previously been approved by the library board.
The Wauneta Village Board’s regular meeting time is the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. MT. The public is welcome to attend Village board meetings.