1/16/2014 3:04:00 PM Shafer addresses employee wages, new
bank rates, appoints committee officers
by MATT SILVER
The Shafer City Council met January 7 for a regular meeting. Prior ot the meeting, the council held a closed session for an employee issue. After quickly consenting the agenda, the council passed a motion by Mayor Kyle Johnson to pay the bills. The council then discussed bank accounts and interest rates. Finance officer Richard Hill told the council Shafer had had an agreement with Riverbank now Central Bank to keep a rate of 1 percent on a money market fund. Hill told the council he had received notice from Central Bank noting they could no longer honor that rate. Hill said the new rate offered is somewhere in the range of .1 percent or less.
Hill told the council Shafer keeps close to $1.4 million in the money market account at all times. In addition, Central Bank had offered unlimited draws meaning Shafer could draw money from the money market and funnel into its checking account. Hill said Shafer would now only be allowed four draws per month. Any additional draws would come at a charge to the city. Hill told the council “It is time to shop around”. Hill suggested having multiple banks bid on the account. Johnson made a motion to solicit offers from other banks including Central Bank. Council member Jesse Keeney seconded the motion which passed unanimously. The council then addressed employee wages. Hill noted the last time Shafer gave a raise was in October of 2012.
Hill said in the last five years, Shafer has only issued one raise for its employees. Council member Koree Denmark asked if employees were given reviews. Keeney answered there are two types of raises given, a cost of living and a performance raise. Johnson said he would be in favor of a 2 to 3 percent raise. Keeney said he would lean towards a 3 percent raise. Johnson then made a motion to give city employees a 2.5 percent raise which passed unanimously. Johnson then told the council that Shafer had been notified of a small rate increase from the engineering firm MSA (formerly BDM). MSA is the engineering firm Shafer has been using for years. The council all agreed they were happy with MSA’s services and agreed to the rate increase.
In unfinished business, City Engineer Jon Herdegen told the council when the weather warms a little, they will proceed to place a perimeter drain around the base of City Hall in efforts to thwart the water issues. Herdegen said they will also apply a water sealant to the outside wall. Johnson told the council, “This is serious, there are three ways to go with the building. Fix it, if we can. Bulldoze it. Add garage doors and make it the fire hall.” The council next agreed to prolong city worker William Neska’s probation until he achieves his CDL liscense. The motion passed unanimously. The council then appointed officers and committees. They are as follows: Mayor Johnson: Water and Sewer Committee, Human Resources Committee, Joint Powers Library, Civil Defense/Disaster coordinator, Finance Committee, and weed inspector. Council member Patty Mattson: Assistant Mayor, Planning commission, EDA, and Highway 8 Task Force. Council member Koree Denmark: Planning Commission, EDA, Finance Committee, and Highway 8 Task Force.
Council member Dan Vogel: Parks Committee, Ordinance Committee, and Joint Powers Fire Department. Council member Jesse Keeney: Parks Committee, Street Commissioner, Water and Sewer Committee, HR Committee, and Ordinance Committee. The council also voted to keep Grundhoefer & Alliegro as City Attorneys, MSA as City Engineers, Jack Kramer as City Building Inspector, Chisago County Sheriff Department as Law Enforcement, Lake Area Bank and Central Bank as Depositors, and Chisago County Press as Legal Newspaper.