Mason Council discusses annexation, employee raises

Staff Report

MASON — The Town of Mason Council met last Thursday for a regular business meeting, discussing annexation and cost of living raises for town employees.

Members present included Steve Ohlinger, Sarah Stover, Becky Pearson, Sharon Kearns and Mayor Donna Dennis. Council member Marty Yeager and Recorder Harley Stewart were absent from the meeting.

During the meeting, council agreed to allow Mason Police Chief Colton McKinney and Sheriff Corey Miller to sign a mutual aid agreement, as presented and requested by Miller.

Lisa Crump was present at the meeting to inquire about the upcoming annexation and possible boundary adjustment. Mayor Dennis explained that this is only the beginning stages, but the town would like to possibly include some houses and businesses south and north of the city limits. Mayor Dennis attended a meeting at the county commission the previous week and the commissioners gave a verbal agreement to allow the Town of Mason to use and incorporate the highway as much as needed to take on this project. Mayor Dennis is to meet with the city attorney to discuss legalities.

An update on the Clifton water project was given during the meeting. Council is awaiting proposals from engineer firms, which are due Feb. 26. Mayor Dennis is to sign and send in proposal requests.

Mayor Dennis proposed using the COLA rates per the SSA every year as opposed to giving 25 cent to $1 raises every other year. Council entered executive session to discuss the rates in further detail. When returning, a motion was made to give a 1.3 percent raise to all employees effective immediately. An ordinance would be drawn up to use the SSA COLA every year, contingent upon the budget and that the town would be fiscally able to uphold the raise per the audit. Exclusions would be water operator Aaron Woolard, and Chief of Police Colton McKinney. They will received their yearly 50 cent raise, unless the COLA was greater than the annual raise, then they would receive the COLA.

A motion was made by Ohlinger for water operator Woolard to receive a 75 cent per hour raise immediately and would receive 50 cents annually every January until he reaches $22 per hour. At that time, he would then be eligible for the annual COLA per the city ordinance.

Shut off fees were discussed briefly to place an ordinance in effect that would charge customers a fee every time they used the call out system to have their water shut off or on after regular business hours. It is already in effect that a customer would get a one-time free pass to do this, however, the town is losing money by allowing this one-time call out. This call out is based on an eight-month period. This discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

Information submitted by the Town of Mason via the unofficial minutes from the most recent meeting.

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Staff Report