WINNEBAGO - Part-time Winnebago police officers are getting a raise, approved unanimously by the City Council on Tuesday.
The rate of pay goes from $15 to $15.50 per hour, but it wasn't without some discussion.
"Fifteen dollars is good for a part-time job," said Councilman Rick Johnson. "Fifty cents is a big increase, in my opinion."
"These guys haven't seen a raise in close to five years," countered Bob Toland, chief of police. "If you look at it that way, we're not asking for too much."
Toland pointed out rates in other area towns, which range from $14.76 in Blue Earth to $18.55 in Martin County and $19.05 in Fairmont.
"None of these [towns] ask their officers to take unpaid on-call," said Toland, noting that Winnebago does.
"Part-time officers transition to full-time officers," argued Councilman Chris Ziegler. "So we want to recruit the best we can get."
In another matter, Kristy Travis, representative of Blue Earth Area Girl Scouts, spoke about the centennial year of Scouting and the Centennial Take Action project, which is a cleanup day set for Saturday, Oct. 13., It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Plans are for the Girl Scouts to rake leaves to keep them from contaminating the water supply. Travis asked City Administrator Austin Bleess to make note of storm drains that clog easily so the girls can target them.
"It's not just for Girl Scouts and their leaders," Travis said. "We want all community leaders [involved]."
Travis asked the council to contribute work gloves to help keep the girls' hands from getting sore. The council approved the purchase.
In other business, the council authorized Bolton & Menk to draft plans to connect the sewer of Josh More at 415 Sixth St. N.W. to the city sewer. Per city ordinance, all residents within 500 feet of the sewer must connect at their own expense. More lives farther than 500 feet from the main.
The council also:
o Heard from Ziegler, who announced he will not seek re-election. He encouraged others to serve.
o Approved a change order for construction on First Avenue S.E., to switch to modified curb and gutter in the areas where the sidewalk abuts the back of the curb. The change will result in a unit price increase of $3.25 per foot, with a total estimated increase of $2,437.
o All necessary liquor, food, and noise permits for Moto Fest, Aug. 3-4.
o A bid for concrete work to prepare for the new employee door at City Hall.
PLC Construction of Winnebago bid $4,700 to remove curb and gutter/walk, install stoop footings and replace the curb and gutter/walk.