Payment of the hold back approved

Council approved the payment of the holdback to Spectre Systems for the paving project at the Oct. 29 meeting.

“There were a few hiccups along the way but it finally got done,” said Public Works Foreman Allan Smith. “I figured if we didn’t help them, they’d still be here.”

The total cost of the project was $366,221.63.

“We ended up doing some horse trading at the end of the day, we got some extra paving done,” said Smith, for use of town manpower and equipment which included the town water truck and 3-ton.

Coun. Shelley Cook asked for a record of the extra work by town employees and wear and tear on equipment.

“We’re all in agreement it’s not going to happen again,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sandra Kulyk.

Salary and wage grid Council had an extensive discussion on the options recommended to the Salary and Wage Grid Review by CAO Kulyk which was based on a survey conducted with municipalities of similar size and comparison of wages offered to full-time and part-time staff.

The discussion revolved around the recommended shift of the entire grid for full-time positions upward by five per cent and moving the part-time staff to have a starting wage of $15 per hour, as per the new minimum wage set by the government.

A further recommendation by CAO Kulyk was to adjust the entire grid by removing two of the bottom levels of the 10 levels and adding two more to the top for five positions including the Assistant CAO, recreation director, public works director, recreation assistant director and recreation operator.

According to Kulyk this recommendation is a result of current staff reaching the top steps on their grid.

The estimated cost to implement the recommendations put forward by administration and the minimum wage increase would result in increases for wages and benefits of approximately $40,000 in 2019.

Kulyk recommended a three per cent increment increase between grid levels.

“It brings our grid in closer alignment with our peers,” said Kulyk. “In my opinion, we’re not out of line,” said Coun. Jackie Brigley.

“The overall grid is nine per cent lower in comparison to other communities; some [positions] are 20 to 23 per cent lower,” stated Kulyk.

“Some are higher too,” said Brigley, also mentioning other benefits offered including wellness benefits, health benefits and clothing.

“If we’re not competitive, we won’t have employees,” said Coun. Keith Griffiths.

“We have to be competitive,” said Mark adding “there has to be a point where the grid tops out.”

Coun. Horkoff pointed out that in 2010 wages were $928,801, as high as 42 per cent of budget. Council decreased wages in 2011 to $816,847, taking it to 36 per cent of budget and there have been increases ever since.

She noted, last year they spent $1.5 million which was 38 per cent in salaries and wages.

“It’s just me saying our staff need to be treated equitably with their peers,” said Kyluk. “If we did a five per cent adjustment we would come close.”

“In my opinion, we are,” said Coun. Jackie Brigley. “when I compare it to Castor, Consort.”

“We can’t have our salaries and wages be 50 per cent of our budget,” said Horkoff. “we can’t that would be ridiculous. What are we doing for our citizens? What will our taxpayers say?”

“If one million goes to staffing that leaves us one million for roads, sewers, and amenities for the town,” said Horkoff.

“Some people [employees] don’t ever get there,” said Kulyk adding this is an incentive grid to attract and retain good quality staff.

Council defeated the motion to change the grid for full-time employees by five per cent in a 4 – 3 recorded vote and went on the pass a change in the grid by three per cent with two opposed in a second recorded vote.

“Adjusting the steps for each of the 10 grid levels by two increments will have no direct financial implications today,” said Kulyk.

“Some people don’t ever get there [top of the grid]. This is an incentive grid,” said CAO Kulyk. “ We need the staff to be here and to improve and to stay. We’ve lost staff before,” added Kulyk.

“They were leaving no matter what,” commented Mayor Stannard. Coun. Horkoff moved to keep the grid the same but the motion was defeated 4 – 2.

Coun. Brett Alderdice motioned to adjust the grid as per administrations recommendation by dropping the two bottom levels and adding two levels to the top which passed in a 4 – 2 vote.

Lights destroyed and missing

In council reports, Coun. Cook was saddened to report to council that five more lights along the walking path to the campground have been destroyed or have gone missing.

“I’m at the end of my budget for ‘Road to Success’ [that provided the funds for the lights], said Coun. Cook.

Coun. Brigley suggested putting up a trail camera to catch the culprits but no decision was made. Coun. Horkoff raised the issue of the different coloured strings of lights on the crown.

CAO Kulyk noted it “was a money and time thing. The last string cost $800 but I was definitely planning to budget to replace them all next year but it’s a lot of money.”

One suggestion was made to have floodlights on the crown rather than the string lights.

CAO Kulyk reported that the four staffing positions of the two BREOC offices are in place and the training completed.

It is hoped that the Transition Centres would be fully furnished and equipped and ready for opening by mid-November.

Following an in camera session, council motioned to renew the contract with CAO Sandra Kulyk.

Organizational meeting

Coronation town council held their organizational meeting on Mon. Oct. 29, electing Mark Stannard as mayor for another term.

In a secret ballot, Coun. Ron Checkel became deputy mayor winning over Shelley Cook.

All committees remained the same although Coun. Vickey Horkoff suggested next year she would like to see someone switch for the fire department rep as she has been on it for a long time.

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