Commission discusses wages | Government and politics

A report on county employee compensation and how it compares to other local jobs was the main focus of the St. Francis County Commission meeting on Tuesday morning.

The county had hired CBIZ, an accounting and human resources consulting firm, to study how to streamline the compensation matrix and what an employee should be paid in order to stay competitive with other employers in the area.

Joe Rice of CBIZ made the presentation and recommendations.

“We heard that you want to be competitive with your local salary, you’re not trying to be the highest payer or the lowest payer. This usually means setting the compensation around market 50e percentile is what most organizations do to build their salary structure.

The CBIZ recommends a salary structure of 11 ranks with a minimum of $27,111 for the first rank up to a minimum of $59,468 at rank 11. The recommended salary structure for the police has five ranks that start at $36,478 minimum for the first grade up to $51,135 minimum at grade five.

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Seventy employees are currently below the recommended minimum pay scale. There are 96 employees who fall under a compression adjustment which would provide an increase to their current salary.

Gallaher explained the compression adjustments in payroll.

“When people start and you increase the salary of people who have been here for three or four years, you compress this group of people even if they have a different seniority. To counter this, we will also give a raise to people who have been there for a few years to keep them away from these newbies.

The report’s conclusion was the cost to raise minimum wages and the squeeze increases would cost the county about $531,110 a year.

The committee accepted the report. However, no changes will be made to the recommendations until the 2023 budget is finalized.

In other cases, the county clerk’s office opened a sealed bid for mobile data terminals for the sheriff’s department. The offer came from Bob Johnson’s Computer Stuff for $24,430.50 for 18 units.

Mobile data terminals are portable computers installed in patrol cars for dispatching and writing reports and other functions. The county auditor’s office will review the bid to see if it meets the bidding qualifications.

Associate Commissioner Kary Buckley recommended that Cochran Engineering be used for the Owl Creek Park project.

“We are going to start the (walking) paths and the cycle paths,” he said. “We are going to start looking at where the utilities will be installed.”

County Clerk Kevin Engler said the state of Missouri has set aside funds from the federal government to match these types of projects.

Buckley agreed. “These projects will essentially be subsidized. There are a lot of grants for parks.

The commission approved the use of Cochran Engineering for the development of Owl Creek.

The May County Treasurer’s Sales Tax Report shows a year-to-date increase of 1.91% or $135,154.89 more funds raised than the previous year.

The next meeting of the St. Francis County Commission will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Courthouse Annex in downtown Farmington.

Mark Marberry is a reporter for Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629 or [email protected]

Aurora J. William