Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss pay plan for employee salary increases |

Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss pay plan for employee salary increases

Ben Ingersoll

The Steamboat Springs City Council already approved $600,000 worth of city employee pay raises in early November, and on Tuesday night, the newly formed pay plan will show 2014 adjusted pay scales for individual jobs.

City Manager Deb Hinsvark said a full-market pay adjustment was proposed, but the council found it a little too aggressive. The $600,000 figure was $138,000 less than the city’s original proposal, but comparatively speaking, plenty of city employees will see significant salary growth.

Along with pay raises, Hinsvark said job descriptions were redone to be more specific and accurate and will be discussed during the pay plan’s second reading at Tuesday’s meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. at Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Some job titles and job descriptions were changed entirely to reflect the workers’ true duties.

“We’ve looked at a lot of different comparatives and done position-by-position (analysis). Because of this down term, we laid off and cut back jobs, and people began to do different jobs than their description stated,” Hinsvark said. “We did adjust quite a few job descriptions to discuss the real job they’re doing.”

A group of employees who should see significantly more money in their pockets are utility workers, like water treatment plant employees or heavy equipment operators.

Hinsvark said oil field operators were making twice as much as city utility employees in some cases, causing workers to drift away from Steamboat jobs. The new pay plan shows minimum income for utility operators and utility technicians jumping from $34,144 in 2013 to $37,988 in 2014.

The pay plan also shows minimum pay for plant A operators — also under the utility worker designation — as receiving a nearly $7,000 income bump, from $41,502 in 2013 to $48,484 in 2014.

She said that utility laborers on average were 14 to 17 percent off the grid on their pay scale, and during the winter season, snowplowers and other machine operators are critical. In comparison with multiple other cities’ employees — about eight to 10 cities — the city of Steamboat noticed a change was needed.

“We’ve really tried to focus on those comparisons and those changes to keep our long-term and experienced staff,” Hinsvark said.

Also part of the pay plan to be read through Tuesday are salary bonus discussions for long-term and efficient city workers. Hinsvark cited late-night bus drivers as an example.

The City Council also will discuss individual roles for those who will serve on the 2A steering committees. The council voted to form the committees Nov. 19 as helpers in overseeing how the city’s lodging tax dollars will be spent for local trails and the Yampa River Promenade.

As a reference guide in deciding the committee members’ roles, Hinsvark said she is including the Urban Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee plan, established in April 2008. She said she envisions the 2A steering committees taking on a similar direction.

“Tuesday night we want to find out what those roles will be,” Hinsvark said. “We assume it will be an advisory committee that will have a longer life than a single task advisory committee. (The URAAC) is another long-term advisory committee and I thought that might give them a starting place for the discussion.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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