City Council awards employees for 15 years of service

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

At the regular meeting of the Montevideo City Council, City employees were awarded for 15 years in service. Those awarded were Craig Hendrickson, Public Works Foreman, and Aaron Blom, Public Works Director. The meeting was held in the recently finished Public Works building located on Ashmore Avenue.

During the meeting, the council discussed a conditional use permit for a 60x144’ building business expansion on the West side of the property located on East Hwy 7 for a light manufacturing shop. The Planning Commission recommended approval at their meeting earlier in the evening, and the council approved the conditional use permit. 

City Manager Robert Wolfington also provided the council with information about a Coronavirus local fiscal recovery fund that was established under the American Rescue Plan Act. Congress adopted the American Rescue Plan Act in March of 2021 which includes recovery funds for cities across the country to provide support to governmental entities in responding to the impact of COVID-19 and in their efforts to contain COVID-19 in their communities. The City of Montevideo’s portion of the funds has not yet been determined but a rough estimate calculated using a formula provided by the Department of Treasury census information shows an estimated $529,515. Parameters have been established for the funds to be used similar to previous funds received by the city for COVID-19. The funds would be dispersed in two halves, with the first likely dispersed this summer and the second six to nine months later. The council motioned to accept the funds.

Gifts and grants were discussed. There were two donations this week to discuss - the American Legion donated $2,000 for the Veteran’s Home project, and the VFW also donated $2,500 for the project. The council also considered a recommendation from the Police Civil Service Commission for an adjustment in the Sergeant salary range. The Sergeant position and Investigator position salary gap has been adjusted in an improperly balanced way as the Sergeant position is not part of the union and thus was not adjusted during union negotiations. The Commission asked for the Sergeant's salary to be adjusted by 4% retroactive to January 1. Police Civil Service Commission Chair Scott Marquardt was in attendance at the meeting to also speak on behalf of the Commission, saying, “It’s an important matter to us for our statutory obligation to look at this but also to bring it forward to you and we are hopeful that you pass this tonight. And also I’d like to publicly state thank you to the Sergeants for their leadership during this time of the pandemic and especially to Chief Schule for keeping the train on the tracks and especially everything he’s done for the team.” The council voted unanimously to pass the wage increase including the retroactive provision.

At the end of the meeting, before a tour of the new Public Works facility, Mayor Erich Winter took a moment to thank everyone for their involvement in Fiesta Days, saying, “This Fire Department, the Police Department, the newspaper was everywhere, the Council was around, Public Works did a great job all week. There were so many events going on I’m sure they were running here, there, and everywhere and as always the parks were beautiful, clean. The Police Department, I just want to thank everyone who helped make it a success so thank you.”