Paden City Council agreed at their regular meeting Monday night to raise the pay of their part-time police officers.
Paden City Mayor John Hopkins said he felt there was a need to raise the salaries of part-time police officers to a level that allows the town to stay competitive. That would guarantee, he said, to have coverage without using so much overtime. Hopkins said he felt they would save money, by eliminating much of the overtime spent, especially on the weekends.
Councilman Dan Probst said the city is currently paying $11 per hour for certified part-time officers and he believes they should at least be paying $13. He said, "We currently have four officers and one is due to go to the State Police Academy and another may have to have surgery. If we can get the pay competitive, we should be able to get commitments from certified officers." He said there is one from Tyler County who helps us quite a bit and we can usually count on him.
Councilman Tom Trader questioned whether the city could afford to raise the salary. Mayor Hopkins again said he believes the city will save money. "We will not have to be looking to hire, which will save us money on benefits and we will have a police force including the part-time officers who will all be certified."
City Recorder Tammi Billiter questioned whether it would be right to pay part-time help in the police department the same as full-time employees.
Mayor Hopkins said, "Whether they are full-time or part-time they would all be certified, so the only difference would be benefits." He suggested raising the pay for part-time officers to $13.50, which would be the same as the full-time police receive.
A motion was then made by Jim Richmond and seconded by Dan Probst to amend the ordinance to raise the rates of part-time officers to that of full-time officers. Motion passed unanimously with the exception of Councilman Rick Casteel, who was absent from the meeting. The motion to change the ordinance requires there be two readings of the change and then a vote of council to approve.
The police department has two new cruisers that are in and will be picked up on Wednesday. One of the old cruisers will kept in service and another one kept for parts, with the Durango to be sold.
Council approved advertising a Dodge Durango police vehicle for sale. It will be advertised in the local papers for two weeks and bids will be opened on April 7, at the next regular meeting.
In other matters,
Councilman Dan Probst said the Park and Pool Commission has entered into an agreement with the Wetzel County Board of Education to rent the ball fields from March 1 to June 1, for $1,600. He said the agreement calls for any major repair costs to also be split three ways by the Park and Pool Commission, the PC Boosters, and the Wetzel County Board of Education.
He also said plans to repair the swimming pool are in the works and volunteer help has been offered. He said he believes the pool will be back in shape and running in time for the season. Advertising for pool manager, life guards, and concession workers has begun.
Larry Potts reported on the Paden City Development Authority, saying there was a leak in the Health and Recreation Building roof over the old cafeteria, which is being repaired.
Mayor Hopkins said he had received a few calls thanking the city for having some vehicles removed from the city streets. He thanked the police department for their work in doing that. He also said the city had sent a letter to the property owners of the trailer on Third Avenue that was taken down. He said they were told they could be fined up to $100 a day if they didn't finish removing the debris. He said he believes the job is complete.
The next regular scheduled meeting of the Paden City Council will be April 7, at 7 p.m.