Most Milltown employees receive 3% pay increase
Chris Adams, Contributing Writer
The Milltown Town Council, at its last regular meeting of 2020, adopted the salary ordinances for both 2020 and 2021.
While salary ordinances are to be adopted prior to the new year, the 2020 salary ordinance was not approved before the end of 2019. Changes were approved at the council’s Jan. 20, 2020, meeting and were implemented, but Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Lutz last month said she didn’t have an ordinance approving the changes.
The 2021 salary ordinance leaves the annual pay of the council members at $1,200 with no benefits, but provides 3% increases for the clerk-treasurer (from $26,490 to $27,285), town manager (from $32,500 to $33,475), town marshal (from $18,409 to $18,961) and administrative personnel at the police department (from $8 per hour to $8.24 per hour). It also set the hourly pay of full-time labor from between $11 and $13.
Benefits, such as the number of personal/sick days and vacation days, remain the same.
In another matter, Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering provided an update on construction of the town’s new wastewater treatment plant. He said the contractor, Mitchell and Stark Construction, was to have mobilized by now but has been slowed by COVID-19.
“They are now planning to mobilize the week of Jan. 4,” he said. “They are still going to meet their regular schedule, so that’s good news. They’re not behind schedule. They’re going to eat into some of the (extra) time that they had built in.”
Woosley said shop drawings have been submitted, with most reviewed and approved, and equipment and materials, including steel, have been ordered.
“So, if everything goes according to plans, they plan to start up the plant mid-June … and then being finished by the Fourth of July,” he said.
Woosley, who also was hired by the town to prepare a roadway Asset Management Plan, said the AMP was completed and approved by Purdue University’s Local Technical Assistance Program by the Dec. 1 deadline for the town to be eligible to apply for the next round of Community Crossings Matching Grant Program funding.
“We’ve been told to expect that next round of funding to open up in January, but we’ve not been given a date yet,” he said.
The grant program provides town, city and county governments 75% of a road project’s funding. While local governments are only responsible for the remaining 25%, they must have 100% of the funds available in order to apply.
The council also received a bit of clarity regarding funds from a trust given to the Milltown Cemetery several years ago. The town received 5% of a $4.2 million estate — $200,000 — that after interest is now $235,792.
Councilwoman Jean Melton said former town attorney Stan Pennington, who administered the receipt of the funds, was contacted regarding his insight into possible use of the money, which was stipulated to be used only for non-profit purposes.
“There was not a mention in anything Stan has of it being a perpetual fund, for one thing, which is what we always thought, and, of course, the cemetery, obviously, is nonprofit,” she said. “He didn’t want to really make a legal opinion, but there wasn’t anything in any of this restricting the borrowing of those funds for us.”
After a preliminary review of the documentation provided by Pennington, David Hutson, the current town attorney, said he doesn’t believe there are any issues with the town borrowing from those funds.
In other matters, the council:
Was informed by Lutz that the period for which municipalities could have public safety salaries reimbursed by federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding was extended to Dec. 31. Previously, only public safety salaries from March 1 through Sept. 30 were eligible. She said this means the town will receive $15,222.43.
Lutz added the town also can submit a request for 10% of the original grant funds it was awarded. Having received $26,474, the town can request $2,647.
Learned from Lutz that the 2019 state audit was concluding. She and Jerry Mackey, the council’s president, were to attend an exit conference with the state later that week. Other town officials also were invited to attend via the Zoom video conferencing platform.
Voted to send a certified letter notifying Advanced Disposal, the town’s sanitation removal provider, that the town plans to put the service out to bid.
Was informed by Police Chief Jimmie Vincent that the police department’s One Community Christmas Drive raised more than $3,000 in just about a month. That allowed officials to take 15 kids shopping, where they spent $200 each ($150 on clothing and $50 on whatever they wanted).
“Those smiles on those kids’ faces makes spending all those hours shopping worth every penny,” Josh Breeding, the town manager, said.
Following a public hearing prior to the regular meeting during which there were no comments from the public, approved an ordinance authorizing the following additional appropriations: $16,585 to the Cemetery Mowing line item in the Cemetery Fund; $1,103 to the Police Donation line item in the Police Donation Fund; and $299.42 to the Medical Building Miscellaneous line item and $3,750 to the Medical Building Utilities line item in the Medical Building Fund.