Some Reed City employees to see pay raise

REED CITY — A select number of Reed City employees are going to see a pay increase in their next checks.

It took several minutes of discussion during two portions of Monday’s Reed City Council meeting for members to approve a 1.5 percent pay raise for the city clerk, city finance director/treasurer, deputy treasurer/utility bill clerk, a part-time police officer and wastewater treatment supervisor. Council members also increased the annual salary of Police Chief Chuck Davis from just over $57,000 to $60,000 annually.

Two percent pay increases for those positions were included in this year’s budget and council was expected to make a decision in July.

However, due to ongoing negotiations with the Police Officers Association of Michigan, council members continued to table the item until there was a resolution.

City Manager Ron Howell noted to council members the increases were an attempt to bring those positions closer to similar ones across the state.

“In searching the Michigan Municipal League, most of the positions at Reed City are below average,” he said to council members. “It was expressed in previous meetings there’s a real concern if you’re in a deficit and borrowing, and this is a general fund position, they’re also as good as department head as any, it’s tough.”

Initially, Davis’ pay increase was to be around 1.7 percent, however, council members expressed the importance of raising the police chief’s annual salary to $60,000 to be in line with other chiefs of cities similar to Reed City.

In other action from Monday’s Reed City Council meeting, members accepted the clean 2015-16 city audit report from Vredeveld Haefner, LLC.

Doug Vredeveld provided highlights of the audit including: the city has about $516,000 in its unreserved fund balance, representing 42 percent of the city’s expenditures; the city had budgeted for expenditures to exceed $112,000 more than revenue, but the city was able to minimize the total loss to just around $15,000; and noted there are outstanding loans the city has to the Reed City Downtown Development Authority that need to be addressed in the future.

Council members also approved the following items:

  • Rezoning the property at 121 N. Higbee St. from Residential-3 usage to Commercial-1 usage.
  • Fire Chief Jeff Stein to apply for $250,000 from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus and turnout gear for the department. If received, the city would have to match 10 percent of the grant funds.
  • Accepting Michigan Department of Transportation funds of about $10,000 for winter maintenance on the business route of U.S. 10.
  • Accepting a terms of engagement for legal services from McCrudy, Wotila and Porteous, continuing its current agreement with the law firm for a $300 per month retainer and any additional work at a rate of $135 per hour.
  • Voted Karen Lea McKinney as mayor and council member Trevor Guiles as mayor pro tem, and welcomed new council member Dan Burchett.