Special Meeting December 7, 2011

The special meeting was called to order at 9:15 a.m. with all members present.  The purpose of the meeting was to use this as a working meeting to review and discuss the real estate taxes, tax levy, budget and wages.

                Real Estate Taxes & 2012 Tax Levy:   The real estate taxes were discussed and the fact that everyone will be seeing an increase for 2012 was recognized.  With that, the council discussed the tax levy for 2012 and the proposed increase of $10,000.00.  There was no increase last year.  In the past few years, the city has incurred some substantial long term debt and needs to make adjustments in either the utility rates or taxes or both, to help pay back these debts.  The council agreed that increasing the 2012 Levy by $10,000.00 would be necessary.

                Budget Review: The council discussed and reviewed the budget for 2012.  The main concern being that there is enough cash flow to pay the city’s debt.  It was decided to increase the contingency fund from $23,000.00 to $33,000.00 transferring the additional $10,000.00 from Natural Gas.

                Employee Wages:  In 2010, there was no increase for wages and benefits.  In 2011, a 1.5% increase was given to all employees with no increase in benefits.  For 2012, the Cost of Living increase is 3.6%.  Jerry Carter would like to see the full-time employees receive this COLA increase but no increase for the part-time.  Rick Turner suggested a 3% increase for full-time and 1.5% increase for part-time.  Jerry Adamski proposed a 2% increase for full-time employees, excluding the full-time bartenders and no increase for the part-time, police included.  No increase in benefits.  Mayor Riitters thought a 2.1% increase for the full-time would be fair and nothing for the part-time.  Charley Andres stated that there needs to be some increase given to everyone or there may be some disgruntled employees if some get a raise and others don’t.  Mayor Riitters wants to be sure that the city’s employee salaries are comparable to others in the same position.  When the step program was created, some positions’ salaries were adjusted as they were not comparable to other cities.  This program needs to be looked at in 2012 and some positions may have to be re-evaluated.

                Motion by Carter 2nd by                    to increase the full-time employees’ salaries by 3% and the part-time by 1%.  No change being made in the benefit package.  Motion died for lack of a second

                Motion by Adamski 2nd by Turner to increase the part-time wages by 1% and full-time by 2%, based on current wages.  The step program will be frozen at this time and re-evaluated per employee in 2012.  The wage increase will be effective January 1, 2012.  Carried 4-1, Carter opposed

                Meeting adjourned at 11:25a.m.