Linwood praises deal to get van

Amy Doeun
Linwood Reporter

At the Jan. 24, meeting of the Linwood Town Board, Supervisor Ed Kramer said: “Today at 2, the new van rolled in. (Planning Commissioner) Joe Dolphy searched for two weeks and had pretty much given up on finding one in our price range, and he found one in Oklahoma.”

The township had received $30,000 in funds from an Anoka County Community Development Block Grant to pay for a van for transportation to the senior center and related activities.

“They wanted $32,000 for it, but he gave them a sob story about the township, and he got it for $30,000,” Kramer said.

The van is a 2012 Chrysler Town and Country.

“All electrical, the ramp comes out so nice,” Kramer added.

The van has 54,000 miles on it, and Kramer thinks it would be a good idea to undercoat it because it comes from a part of the country where the roads aren’t regularly salted.

Supervisor Mike Halliday agreed that there may be some maintenance expenses with the van but added: “I think it is great; we have been looking for something like this for years. Kudos to Joe for doing this.”

According to Kramer, “We had that $30,000 and we had to spend it before May 30 or we wouldn’t have it anymore.”

The meeting continued with organizational elements for the new year.

Human resources

Halliday and Carol Searing are the supervisors overseeing human resources. They reported to the council that they would like to set a pay scale for each position and then review each employee and where they fall within the pay scale. They had researched different townships and comparable wages for similar positions; for example, the recommended pay scale for a maintenance worker was $19 to $26 per hour.

“Part of what we are hoping to do with HR is to have proposed wage ranges, so that in the future or moving forward we have some parameters set for beginning wages and top pay scale,” Halliday said. “The way to make it the most fair is to go through and do everyone. … Carol and (Supervisor) Carrie Luedtke went out to compare with surrounding areas. We are actually within range.”

Kramer added that with a pay range, it is possible for some employees to hit the top of the range.

“We are just trying to do more and be more clear,” Halliday confirmed.

The employees had already received length of service and cost of living increases for the year.

Another human resource issue that arose was whether the city is required to provide safety gear to its maintenance workers. The city does provide things like safety goggles, vests and chaps, but Halliday said that those items are not personal items and must stay at the township.

However, one employee thought that the city had paid for steel-toed boots in the past and purchased a pair using township money. He later repaid the township but still contends that this had been the practice in the past.

Kramer and Halliday entered a discussion of different Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, with Halliday maintaining that since this is a personal item, the township does not need to pay for it.

Kramer felt that the statutes suggested that the township should pay.

At the close of the meeting, Supervisor Bob Millerbernd said that he had approached Carol Searing about writing a standard policy for this issue so that it would be clear to everyone in the future.