The Helper City Public Works Department has absorbed a number of changes recently. These changes and updates were discussed during the council meeting on Nov. 2.
The first item of consideration was the possible approval of decals for the public works trucks. It was stated that there are several of them that do not have any decals and those that do have the decals still have the old logos. A local vendor bid on the decals and is also providing stickers for equipment as well as vinyl for the windows on the doors.
Mayor Lenise Peterman explained that the idea was to split the cost between the water and power department and the roads department. The cost will total around $3,000. Councilman and former Helper City Public Works Director Gary Harwood expressed that the replacements were long overdue.
Following that comment, the decals were approved and the council moved onto the introduction of the new Helper City Public Works Co-Directors. Mayor Peterman explained that after interviewing a variety of candidates, it was decided that what would be best for the city was to create co-directors to keep the promotion internal. The new co-directors are DJ Romero and Brittany Hansen.
Hansen already holds water certifications that are required by state statute and has one more that she will be testing for in December. Romero is going to be working on his certifications in order to have complete backup in public works.
The duo has been working well together in every department, not just Romero on streets and Hansen on water. They have working collaboratively for the department. “We’re excited that it’s going well,” shared Mayor Peterman.
The city plans to hire a part-time employee that will help the co-directors as they are now taking on more responsibilities than they carried previously. Finally, their wages were discussed. Mayor Peterman stated that the previous director, Mike Mastin, was making $25 an hour and they wanted to take that and really make some employees whole in public works.
The proposed wage increase for the new co-directors was a $2 per hour raise and $.75 cent raise after probation. They will then be eligible for further raises on certification efforts. The other public works employees will be given raises with this incentive as well.
The raises were budgeted for, meaning the budget is not being altered. It is set and the city is able to accomplish the raises by working the numbers, essentially. This was also approved by the council.