Council increases Westfield employees’ wages

Posted January 31, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Julie Ann Madden

With changes in city employees, Westfield councilors make wage increases at their Jan. 21 meeting.

City Clerk Talia Evenson marked her first anniversary in her position in October 2018 but lack of a quorum in December prevented discussion about her wages.

Therefore, after a short discussion, Councilor Marcia Dewey made a motion to increase Evenson’s salary to $18 per hour retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year with a annual wage review. Councilor James Feauto seconded it, and the vote was unanimous, 4-0 with Councilor Chad Carlson absent.

City water/wastewater operators are now Westfield residents Marcia Dewey and Nathan Wolf. They will be responsible for the city’s daily water testing.

The council decided to pay $13 per hour for their training hours. Dewey had three hours of training and Wolf four hours.

The council also approved a $15 per hour wage for Dewey and Wolf for every hour they’ve worked since training ended and for future work.

In other business, the Council:

• Unanimously approved authorizing Councilor Beth Terpstra to spend up to $1,000 to get the city’s lagoons pumped to prevent spillage.

She reported the city’s wastewater lagoons are 2 feet from spilling over the top.

The week of Jan. 14, Westfield’s certified water/wastewater operator, Nick Lahrs took lagoon samples in case spillage was necessary, said Terpstra. In addition, he had received permission from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to dump sludge into the dry creek bed if necessary.

It was noted the lagoons had been scheduled to be emptied last fall.

Council members were frustrated that they had taken out a loan to get this project done, costing the city interest, and were now they were facing additional charges for the same project.

• Visited with a landowner whose tenant had moved in a shed-type building without seeking a building permit from city officials. The council’s consensus was to have the landowner meet with the tenant as the landowner will have to apply for a building permit if the building is to stay on the property.

The council also requested the landowner inform the tenant not to be driving on the city’s ball field property and to remove junk vehicles from the landowner’s property.

• Discussed who to appoint to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Resident Hayden McInnis agreed to be on the council. Two more residents will be found for the three-person commission.

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