January 6, 2011 at 8:24 a.m.

Taylors Falls welcomes new council member; adopts employee wages

Taylors Falls welcomes new council member; adopts employee wages
Taylors Falls welcomes new council member; adopts employee wages

The new member of the Taylors Falls City Council, Mary Murphy, took the oath of office Monday this week, along with Mayor Mike Buchite and incumbent Council member Ross Rivard. The council held its 2011 organizational session early Monday at city hall.

Among items of business the law firm Kelly and Lemmons was contracted with for 2011. The mayor noted the new contract clearly sets out retainer charges versus costs that fall outside of the monthly retainage of $1,250. The law firm has served Taylors Falls for years and council agreed the attorneys' experience and continuity of representation was of value.

City employee compensation was adopted for 2011. The position of deputy clerk treasurer is no longer a budgeted item. The lone clerk-treasurer is at $22.86 per hour, the zoning administrator is at $21 hourly, Public Works Supervisor was set at $23.97, the maintenance worker is at $20.04, seasonal help and the city librarian are at approximately $9 an hour, the two custodians are at $14.59 per hour. The city also caps insurance contributions by the city at $500 per month for fulltime employees and the city pays for a $25,000 life insurance policy carried by fulltime staff.

Also: council established a fee for sewerage dumping at the wastewater treatment facility.

In the past Rowe Sewer Service has been allowed to dispose of septage at the plant because the flow was needed for operations. The city has recently done projects that have resulted in less clean water infiltration into the system, so the sewage is no longer "needed," explained Buchite, hence a new fee for disposal set at $30 per truckload. Buchite said it's recommended by the city's engineer and it is also "environmentally the right thing to do" provide a place where locally generated wastewater can be treated properly. Past practice where Rowe would pump the restroom facility at Lions Park for no charge, in exchange for no-fee disposal at the facility, is also being discontinued under this system and the city will be paying for that service.

Community Center rental fees increased, along with mailing of city council information packets to interested citizens.

Hook-up to water (a new service) was also increased to $2,026 from $1,967 and the sewer access charge (new service) went to $2,389.

Base rates charged for water and sewer billing went up, water is now $5.51 base charge for resident water use, up from $5.35 and sewer is a base rate of $15.01 an increase from $14.58. The bill also includes charges per 1,000 gallons.

New Council member Murphy accepted appointment to be liaison to the city's Economic Development Commission, Finance Committee and Police Services committee. The other liaison appointments remained the same from 2010. There's vacancies on the Taylors Falls Library Board if anyone is interested in serving they can inquire at the library or contact a city council member and appointees will be acted on later upon library board recommendation.


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