By Julie Ann Madden
In a six-minute meeting, Akron councilors unanimously approved wage increases for city employees.
Councilor Bob Frerichs made the motion and Councilor Sharon Frerichs seconded it. The vote was 4-0 with Councilor Chad Ericson absent.
The new salaries went into effect July 1 for the 2013-2014 year.
Police Chief Kimm Nielsen was given a 2.3 percent increase, changing his total cash salary from $60,200 to $58,131.
The increase included raising his hourly rate from $21.75 to $22.22 per hour and benefits of $2,100 holiday pay; and vacation and sick leave.
Assistant Police Chief Jared Gares received a 16 percent increase from $42,488 to $48,182.57. His hourly rate increased from $16.56 per hour to $19.23 per hour. Benefits included holiday pay of $1,817.24 and vacation and sick leave of $1,365.33.
The reason Nielsen’s salary actually lowered was because last year he received Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) overtime pay of $3,400. Gares also will not receive STEP overtime pay this coming year. Last year he received $1,009.75.
It was noted in 2012-2013 salaries, the STEP had been distributed unequally between the two officers. For 2013-2014, STEP revenues will be used to make equipment purchases instead of given as salaries.
Troy Leekley received a 2.5 percent increase in hourly wages from $16.22 per hour to $16.63 per hour for an estimated annual salary of $34,590.40. He will also receive an estimated $2,740 overtime pay and compensation pay of $70. His total salary is estimated at $37,400.40.
Bob Popken received a 2.5 percent increase from $20.02 per hour to $20.52 per hour for an annual estimated salary of $42,681.67. He will also receive estimated overtime of $616 and compensation of $933 for a estimated annual salary of $44,230.
Dan Rolfes was given a 2.5 percent hourly salary increase from $18.29 to $18.75 an hour for an estimated salary of $39,000. He will also receive estimated overtime of $2,770 and compensation of $1,070 for an annual estimated salary of $42,840.
Todd Swancutt received a 2.5 percent increase from $18.83 per hour to $19.30 per hour for an estimated salary of $40,144. He will also receive estimated overtime of $150 and compensation of $775 for an annual estimated salary of $41,069.
No benefits were listed on the salary document the council passed for office personnel.
Public Works Director Gary Horton received about a 6.5 percent increase, raising his salary from $28.85 per hour, $63,000 annually, to $30.68 per hour or $67,000 annually. His salary was based on 42 hours per week.
City Clerk Nicolle DeRocher received approximately a 5.5 percent increase. Based on an average of 27 to 30 hours per week, her hourly rate increased from $20.40 per hour, $28,641.60 annually to $21.50 per hour, $30,186 annually.
Deputy Clerk Karen Wardrip received about a 4 percent increase from $14.83 per hour, $30,850 annually to $15.38 per hour, $32,000 annually. Her salary was based on 40 hours per week.
Office Assistant Kourtney Nicholson received a 2.5 percent increase from $10 an hour, $13,000 annually to $10.25 per hour, $13,325 annually.
Wage Review Committee members Bob Frerichs and Sharon Frerichs made the salary recommendations to the council.
In other business, Akron Lanes owner Tim Lovrien asked for permission to have a live band in his outdoor recreational area. City Attorney David Stuart informed him the city had no requirements he had to meet. The councilors was in favor of his idea.
The council also learned Akron-Westfield School Board had a presentation to work with a long-range planning consultant at their June 24 meeting, and this may be a good thing for city officials to participate in.