Council approves cost of living increase for city employees

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

City employees from multiple departments will receive cost of living increases in the next three years.

The Albert Lea City Council approved separate union contracts on Monday with Minnesota Public Employees Association for public works, City Arena, parks, city center, community service personnel and for police officers and detectives.

Chad Adams

Chad Adams

The three-year contracts include a 2.5 percent cost of living increase each year, with eligible employees receiving a step increase on the employee’s work anniversary date.

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Per the agreements, employee contributions to family health insurance would increase from 13 percent of the premium to 14 percent this year and to 15 percent for 2018 and 2019.

The agreement with police officers and detectives includes a market adjustment increase of 1 percent in 2017 and 0.75 percent in 2018 and 2019.

“We certainly want to make sure our employees are well cared for in terms of compensation and benefits,” said Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams. “They do a great level of work for the city and do a good job, and this helps represent (that), maintaining the fact that we are keeping up with other communities, as well.”

In other action, the council:

Accepted a feasibility report and called a public hearing for 7 p.m. March 13 for the Sunset Street reconstruction project. Work will include the reconstruction of concrete surface, curb and gutter, water main, sanitary sewer and storm sewer. A concrete sidewalk is proposed to be installed on one side of the street, which will require the road to be narrowed and shifted.

Authorized city staff to approve the use of Edgewater Bay pavilion until midnight as determined appropriate by park staff.

Authorized a lease agreement between the city of Albert Lea, Fisher’s Fine Jewelers and Northland Karate for the Police Department to periodically use Northland Karate space for training through 2018.

Approved purchasing a replacement street sweeper for about $203,000.

Approved a lot configuration for 1413 Frank Hall Drive to allow Barry Jacobson to create an additional building lot adjacent to his current residence.

Listened to a presentation by Blue Zones Project Lead Ellen Kehr and watched a video on the project made by two Irishmen who visited the city in December.

Approved a mandatory pay equity implementation report.

Supported an Albert Lea Police Department grant application to the Minnesota Department of Commerce to assist agencies in reducing auto thefts and to recover stolen vehicles. The Police Department is partnering with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and asking for approximately $95,000 to purchase four license plate readers and associated hardware.

Denied a variance request at 1207 Spartan Ave.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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