The Beloit City Council heard the report from the Personnel Committee that was established at their February 10, meeting during their meeting Tuesday night, February 18. This committee composed of Mayor Tom Naasz, City Administrator Glenn Rodden, and Councilmen Rick Brown, Matt Otte and Bob Richards met Thursday to discuss hiring someone to fill the Water/Wastewater Director Position recently vacated by Kendal Francis.
Mayor Naasz told the council the committee discussed what direction to take on this new hiring. They decided to suggest combining the positions of the Director of Streets and Transportation and the Water and Waste-Water Director into one position at a salary of $60,000 a year. This would eliminate one department head position. The question was asked if this would be legal. Administrator Rodden said it has been done in cities he has worked in previously. They would just have to reconstruct the position criteria and draft a resolution to set up this new job description for a Public Works Director position.
Several on the council suggested since this position was changed a few years ago they could just go back to the way it was previously. Another suggestion was to add the Electrical Department along with the first two and eliminate another position. Administrator Rodden said it would be hard enough to find someone with the qualifications to be in charge of the transportation department and the waste - water departments let alone adding the necessary electrical qualifications.
Councilman Lloyd Littrell added that the entire committee didn't agree with this plan. He said when the city tried this before it didn't work out too well and no money was saved for the city. Councilman Richards said they have no fore drawn conclusion as to who would be appointed to the new position. The suggestion was to put out an ad for applications for the position of Public Works Director and then approve an ordinance. Councilman Littrell asked City Attorney, Katie Cheney, if it would be legal to do it this way. Cheney said it would if it was worded right. Littrell then asked if the City of Beloit is an equal opportunity city and was told it is.
After more discussion the decision was made to draw up a job description and have it presented at the next meeting. This will give council members two weeks to think about this before they put it to a vote.
Administrator Rodden reported the contractor is already going ahead with the sewer line work on the North Campus. No word has been received back yet from the State on the Housing Rehabilitation Grant the city has applied for. They are still optimistic about receiving the grant but the state isn't ready to make an announcement yet.
Rodden was asked if Ordinance 2141 Environmental Code passed at the last council meeting allowing the city code enforcement officer to address dilapidated buildings within the city limits would help their application for next year. Rodden said any work done this year would be in line for next years grant since the State would be able to see that you are trying to help yourself. Heather Hartman, Economic Development Director, was present at the meeting and said this would be a big help to her when she applies for these grants.
The council voted 5 to 1 to approve Ordinance 2142. Council members Pat Struble and Bob Petterson were absent and Councilman Otte voted "No" since no record was given on how far into the contract they are. The city passes this ordinance every year to exempt ICON Industries Inc, now listed as Landoll Industries, from property tax. This contract is in affect for ten years since the date the agreement was made with a declining rate of exemption each year after that.
Under formal actions the Council unanimously approved the bid for fully funded health insurance from Blue Cross/Blue Shield in the amount of $765,000.00. They also approved maintaining the employer rate at 85% and the employee contribution rate at 15%.
The Council voted 6 to 0 to approve the Precious Metal License for B&B Jewelry, a new business in the City of Beloit. The application was received for approval from Bonnie Boxum and Brenda M. Slater. A license will be issued for 2014. This has never been done before as City Code Enforcement Officer, Chris Jones, just became aware that it is a State Statute during the codification review conducted recently. A $25 yearly fee is appraised.
The Council voted 6 to 0 to approve the agreement between Chautauqua Isle Of Lights, Inc. and the city for the 2014 season. The only language change in the term agreement was to extend the closing of the park from October 24, 2014 to January 18, 2015 to give workers more time to remove the displays.
During the work session the Council reviewed the Treasurer's Report. Administrator Rodden and City Clerk Amanda Lomax answered questions Council members had concerning the report.
City Code Enforcement Officer Jones went over Chapters 13 and 14 of the code codification book review. Council members made suggestions for changes or additions they felt needed to be made. This was a discussion item only so no decisions were made.
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