Alderman approve 2.75 pay increase for city employees

A wage freeze  – a practice that levels of local government from the Vermillion School District to the University of South Dakota has had to administer because of budget constraints – will not be experienced by employees of the city of Vermillion.

The pay received by Mayor Jack Powell and aldermen who serve on the city council will remain at 2011 levels, however.

The Vermillion City Council approved its 2012 payroll resolution at its regular meeting Tuesday night. City employees who are members of the AFSCME and Teamster unions will get a 2.75 percent cost of living pay increase this year. The pay increase is part of a three-year agreement forged between the city and the unions that became effective Jan. 1, 2010.

The resolution approved Tuesday night also includes a 2.75 percent pay increase for non-union, professional and management employees of the city.

"This is the final year of those union agreements that provides for this cost of living adjustment, and I anticipate that we will be doing negotiations this coming summer to establish for 2013 and beyond," City Manager John Prescott said.

He added that during budget discussions in August and September, "the city council specifically took action not to adjust the mayor and city council salaries, so those rates have not been changed in this payroll resolution as well as those individuals who may serve on a planning commission, library board – those types that are paid on a $15 per meeting basis."

Prescott will receive $103,920 this year under the agreement approved Tuesday night, and assistant city manager Andrew Colvin will receive $47,750.

The salaries of various city department heads include: Ambulance  – Les Huber, $41,091; Code Enforcement – Farrell Christensen, $50,112; Electric – Mark Koller, $73,852; Engineering – Jose Dominguez, $67,839; Finance – Mike Carlson, $84,292; Fire and Rescue – Doug Brunick, $50,717; Library – Jane Larson, $58,338; Parks and Recreation, David Nelson, $65,772; Police – Matthew Betzen, $74,061; Solid Waste – Robert Iverson, $55,812; Street – Pete Jahn, $53,703; Telecommunications – Ryan Anderson, $45,831; Wastewater – Paul Brunick, $59,925; Water – Randy Isaacson, $56,647.

Mayor Jack Powell's annual salary will remain at $9,956 – the same amount he received in 2011.

The pay of Aldermen Tom Davies, Jennifer French, John Grayson, Clarene Meines, Kent Osborne, Dennis Zimmerman, Steve Ward and Howard Willson also remain frozen at 2011 levels. Each will receive $5,764 in 2012.

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