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Council tackles maintenance salaries

The Harrison County Council Monday night approved a reduction in the maintenance supervisor’s salary but did not approve the recommended salary increases for the two maintenance technicians.
At its regular meeting, held at the Government Center in south Corydon, the requests were passed on to the council by the board of commissioners. The board suggested decreasing the salary of newly appointed supervisor Daniel Spencer from $51,633 to $45,000.
Council chair Gary Davis said he thought the previous supervisor, David Simon, was overpaid, and the commissioners recommended the reduction because Spencer’s experience didn’t match that of Simon’s.
Spencer, who was previously a maintenance technician, took over the position after Simon was placed on a two-week, no-pay leave of absence by the previous board of commissioners and never returned to the job. Spencer agreed to the lower salary, according to Councilwoman Sherry Brown.
The commissioners requested the maintenance technician salaries be increased from $27,874.80 to $31,000.
‘Each of the last two years they’ve asked to increase the salaries to the same as the mechanics at the highway garage,’ Davis said. ‘We reviewed the two job descriptions and didn’t think they were equivalent jobs.’
Davis said he’d accept a motion to decrease the supervisor salary but to defer any other discussion on raises until the budget session, which will begin in the summer.
‘Why give a raise for doing the same job?’ Councilman Jim Heitkemper asked.
After little discussion, Heitkemper made the motion to decrease the supervisor position but defer the technician salary discussion until budget season, and Councilman Phil Smith seconded. It passed unanimously.
The decrease for the supervisor position was effective at Spencer’s hire date.
In other business, Davis spoke about the ‘exceedingly good news’ of Areva Pharmaceuticals Inc. choosing the Lanesville Interstate 64 interchange area to build a distribution center and perhaps more in the future.
‘Everybody probably thinks this has been a long time coming,’ Davis said of construction at the interchange (exit 113).
Davis thanked several individuals and groups, including the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., Harrison County Regional Sewer District, the Town of Lanesville and James L. Shireman construction company.
Shireman personnel recommended the Lanesville site to Areva representatives.
‘Everyone deserves a hand,’ Davis said.
Lanesville resident Peter J. Schickel, a former county councilman from 1958 through 1988, said the project is a win-win for the eastern portion of Harrison County.
‘We hope this is just the start of something big,’ Davis said.
The council denied a request of $10,000 for legal services for the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission at the recommendation of the board of commissioners. The commissioners’ new plan for legal services involves legal counsel Chris Byrd taking care of issues involving any of the county offices or agencies.
The board approved $8,375 for fuel, maintenance and insurance on the new rescue boat secured by the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency. The boat was purchased through a grant.
The council’s next meeting will be Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center.