By Ivan Raconteur
Lester Prairie City Council adopted a final 2015 levy of $631,936 during Tuesday’s meeting $604 less than the 2014 levy.
Water and sewer base charges increased
The council approved raising the base charge for water from $11.85 to $15.50 per month, an increase of $3.63 or 30.8 percent.
The base sewer charge also increased, from $30.75 to $36.90 per month, an increase of $6.15 or 20 percent.
The usage charges per 1,000 gallons for water and sewer did not change.
City staff wage increases approved
The council approved a 5 percent raise for all full-time and permanent part-time employees.
City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk’s hourly wage will increase from $27.90 to $29.30; Police Chief Bob Carlson’s hourly wage will increase from $25.85 to $27.15; and Public Works Supervisor Greg Mueller’s hourly wage will increase from $24.60 to $25.85.
The council approved a 25 cents per hour increase for all part-time police officers on a vote of 4-1, with Mayor Andy Heimerl and council members Larry Hoof, Eric Angvall, and Bob Messer in favor, and Council Member Ron Foust opposed. Foust said the increase should have been more.
The council tabled discussion of wage increases for part-time public works employees until January.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a change to the city’s personnel policy. When maintenance employees are put on-call due to extreme cold weather to accept calls for potential water and sewer line freezing, they will receive on-call pay of $120 per week. If they are required to report to work to determine the location of a frozen line, they will be paid their regular hourly rate of pay.
• adopted an ordinance regulating the use of inline skates, roller skates, roller skis, and skateboards.
• approved joining the Southwest Metro Drug Task Force as a non-voting member.
• authorized Council Member Bob Messer to work with Shelby Gamache, a MN GreenCorps member serving McLeod County, to complete a tree inventory in Lester Prairie at no cost to the city.
• approved a request from resident Hillard Klaustermeier to use either of the city parks for music in the park events on Tuesday evenings for six weeks next summer.
• approved liquor license renewals for all licensed businesses in the city.
• directed City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk to arrange a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, prior to the regular council meeting, to meet with a consultant to discuss what council members think the city needs in terms of a city administrator or planner.