BLUE EARTH - Faribault County Chief Deputy Scott Adams on Tuesday asked county commissioners to give part-time deputies a pay raise. The request narrowly passed.
Adams said part-time deputies have not had a raise since 2003, putting their pay behind eight other local departments in two counties.
Faribault County part-time deputies have been paid $14; the city of Wells pays $14.50; Blue Earth $15; and Winnebago $15.50.
Other part-time officers make $15 in Truman, $15.39 in Trimont, $15.60 in Sherburn, $18.55 in Martin County and $19.05 in Fairmont, according to Adams.
Adams requested that part-time deputies receive $16 as of Jan. 1.
He said the raise is warranted not only because it has been so long since they received one, but because the part-time deputies do the same job as full-time officers, but often work "less desirable shifts, work holidays and weekends." Part-timers fill vacation and sick-leave shifts, he noted, adding that part-timers are non-union and don't get overtime.
Adams also mentioned that part-time deputies often work for more than one department. Some will choose to take hours with another department because of the pay.
Commissioner Tom Loveall said the wage should go up, but he wasn't sure it should go to $16. He said doing so would raise the county part-timers higher than the part-timers in the cities of Faribault County. He suggested raising the rate to $15.50 "so the county isn't topping anyone."
"I don't want to get into a bidding war with others," said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz.
He wanted the request to go through the budget process, but Commissioner Greg Young reminded him the part-timers don't have a contract.
"Let's fine-tune it a bit," Loveall said. "I'd just as soon hold off a bit."
Loveall and Groskreutz voted against the raise to $16 while Young and Commissioner John Roper voted for it. Chairman Tom Warmka broke the tie with a vote for the raise.
The board also split on another vote when Billeye Rabbe, solid waste coordinator, asked for permission to negotiate a recycling contract with Hometown Sanitation over Waste Management, the current provider.
The contract, which would take effect Jan. 1, would include drop sites for Winnebago, Huntley, Elmore, Minnesota Lake and Blue Earth, as well as curbside service in Huntley and Minnesota Lake.
"We've used the one we have for 20 years," Rabbe said. "We need to evolve with the times. We're doing double-sorting. The single-sort system is pretty nice."
She also mentioned that Hometown is offering revenue sharing on funds they get back from the recycling.
Loveall asked about getting more capacity. Rabbe said Hometown would address it.
She said the six-year contract will be written with a 60-day opt-out clause.
Young and Roper voted for the measure, with Loveall and Groskreutz against.
Warmka voted for it, saying, "With single-sort, I think our volume will go up."