City Council Approves Pay-scale
SISTERSVILLE – City Council approved a step pay-scale for police officers at Monday’s meeting.
Police Chief Rob Haught said the new pay-scale would not only standardize existing pay rates, but potentially attract new officers and aid retention.
He said if a potential recruit knows in advance what the future salary would be, that person may be more inclined to apply for the job. Also, a standardized pay-scale would eliminate inequality between officers who may have comparable experience, he said, but are paid different amounts.
And as officers gain rank and seniority, Haught said, their pay would increase so it would give them something to look forward to over time.
The new police pay-scale provides $14 an hour for probationary patrolman; $15 an hour for patrolman; $15.50 an hour for patrolman first class; $16 an hour for corporal; $16.50 an hour for sergeant; $17 an hour for lieutenant; and $19 an hour for chief.
Haught said the new pay scale would provide a light bump in pay to the police force.
City Hall is studying a pay-scale for its other employees.
Speaking of police, council approved hiring Anthony Lauer as a police officer.
Lauer was one of four finalists who sought a position. Lauer, 28, grew up in St. Marys where he graduated from high school and he attended WVU-Parkersburg.
Though Lauer has law enforcement experience from the state Department of Corrections, he will be attending the State Police Academy later this year. Tuesday was his first day on the job as a probationary patrolman.
“Police work is something I’ve had a passion for since I was young,” he said.
Haught said the additional hire of Lauer puts the department at full strength four full-time officers including the chief as well as various levels of part-time officers who also assist the police department.
“For the past eight months, the full-time officers have been working 10-hour shifts,” he said. “This new hire will definitely take a lot of stress off the other guys.”
In other business, Haught said the state Department of Highways has a studied a request to change the speed limit on W.Va. 2 between Dairy Queen and the Sistersville Golf Course. Haught said after extensive study, the state determined that the 35 mph speed limit should not be changed. He said though truck traffic has increased due primarily to oil and natural gas industry, the average speed of most motorists was a shade above the existing speed limit. Also, jake-break noise is relatively minimal along that patch of highway.
In other matters, Mayor Bill Rice and council briefly discussed the logistics required to purchase radio-read meters. City Recorder Chad Edwards said four to five companies may be seeking to bid on the project. Rice said the problem is whether it will be necessary to buy new meters and lids as part of one purchase or two. Council agreed to study the matter more to find out which approach is more cost efficient and, depending on what is discovered, allow bids for both the radio-read meters and their corresponding lids.
Speaking of water, the city’s swimming pool is on track to open May 28. Prices will remain the same: Daily Admission: $3 per person; 3 yrs old and under FREE; 10-day pass per person: $25; 20-day pass per person: $50. The hours of operation will be Monday – Saturday 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday evenings, there will be an exercise water class from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at a cost of $5 per person. Adult Swim will be 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at $2 per person.
Council appointed Carmen Silliman to a three-year term as a member of the city’s Planning Commission. Audist Pancake was re-appointed as Parks and Recreation manager.
Mayor Rice asked that people tend to their lawns or face possible consequences. He asked for resident’s help so as the city would be clean and ready for upcoming an upcoming alumni reunion among other festivals planned in the city in the weeks and months ahead.
First Christian Church of South Wells Street asked City Hall to deal with parking issues.
Councilman Alex King spoke of possibly creating an endowment fund that could be used to help with projects and plans that would benefit not only the city’s residents, but folks in Tyler County.