Those days are over for members of the public works department at the City of Dearborn. At least for now.
That’s the result of action taken in an executive session of the Dearborn Board of Aldermen Monday night, when the board reworked the contracts of the three members of its outside crew.
The action, according to Mayor Josh Linville, will be “a substantial savings,” because not only are total work hours cut from a minimum of 96 per week down to 72, but one of the employees has been reduced to part-time status, meaning the city will no longer be paying for his health insurance coverage. Linville estimated cost savings at about $25,000 annually.
Under the new contracts, K.C. Davidson will see his guaranteed hours cut from 50 per week down to 40. Billy Clay Davidson’s hours will be cut from 40 to 32, which moves him to part-time status.
Frank Dovel, a third employee, had previously been guaranteed a minimum of six hours per week. Now, Dovel will only be called to work on an “as needed” basis, Linville said.
“No overtime is guaranteed,” for any of the employees, Linville points out. That had been an issue raised by some critics of Dearborn’s budget situation in recent months.
K.C. Davidson’s rate of pay is $13 per hour; Billy Davidson is compensated at $10 per hour and Dovel earns $9.50 per hour, the mayor said..
The changes in the employment contracts will take effect Jan. 24.
Linville acknowledges the city is in a very tight budget situation and the board of aldermen will continue to look at possible ways to cut costs and increase revenues.
“We’re in a tough spot,” he said.
Linville explained the city will be looking at potential grants, “county, state, federal, whatever we can qualify for” to help cover future projects.
He added the city will soon be studying the likelihood of an increase in water rates.
“The city hasn’t had a water increase, at least not much, since we put in a new water tower and water service from Kansas City, which carries with it a higher price tag,” Linville said Tuesday.
In other Dearborn news, Linville said the new city park being built with the help of a county grant “is going along beautifully” and could be completed by spring.
The 21-acre park will be on both sides of Hwy. Z and will include a new baseball field, shelter house, basketball court, playground equipment and walking trails.
“We’re hitting the home stretch. Delba McAuley, former mayor, has done a heck of a lot of work with that and it’s really starting to take shape,” Linville remarked.