Written by The Herald-News
The City of Wolf Point held a special meeting Aug. 12 to adopt the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
The council first looked at Resolution 879-2013, which determined salaries and compensation for the fiscal year.
City clerk and treasurer Marlene presented two options, one of which gave 5 cent per hour longevity increase to employees with seven or more years of service to the City of Wolf Point as of July 1, 2013. The option also came with a 3 percent cost of living adjustment, figured on all salaries, which amounts to 49 cents per hour per employee.
The alternative proposal had a 1 percent longevity and/or a 3 percent COLA and one grade change.
Mayor Dewayne Jager said it was the Policy and Wage Committee’s recommendation to take the 5 cent per hour longevity with 3 percent COLA. Councilman Chris Dschaak added that the committee had not met to determine the new raise structure. He recommended that the committee be given time to meet to discuss and research both options. Mahlum said there are monies in the reserves to adjust the budget. Jager asked who had authorized the proposal.
Mahlum said the committee authorized her to work up the figures and create the proposal. At subsequent meetings, she made amendments to her original proposal and worked up new figures. She said she was never given the opportunity to present the figures to the committee to show the actual increase.
After Mahlum looked into the budget and saw the budget could afford it, she was directed to put in the 5 cent longevity and 3 percent COLA. She said she would take responsibility for the proposal. Mahlum said she wanted to present the council a fair step for employees to retain employees. She said she implemented a similar method used by the police department.
Jager said he would have liked to have been in the “drift of things.” Councilman Lee
Redekopp said he could take part of the responsibility. He said that there had been a situation a couple of years ago where
Redekopp wanted to be equitable to the rest of the employees as the committee had paid a raise to one employee. He told Mahlum to come up with some figures to see where it would “fall in.”
Dschaak made a motion to approve the first option, with the knowledge to all city employees that the committee will meet and consider the alternative proposal, while still looking at current option. He said the committee will meet before the city council meeting in September. If the committee decides to switch to the alternative proposal, the budget will be amended.
Once that was approved, Mahlum brought to the Council’s attention the 2013 taxable valuation, which was $1,255,890, and the levied funds for the fiscal year. There will be no increases to the special assessment funds, which include street maintenance and lighting, and the enterprise funds, which are water, sewer and solid waste.
The second resolution that was considered was Resolution 880-2013, a resolution to adopt the budget as listed for the fiscal year, based on the value of a mill of $1,255 as provided in the 2013 certified taxable certification as provided by the Montana Department of Revenue and the authorized mill levy under Section 15-10-420 MCA in the amount of 272.23 mills amounting to $341,648 as the authorized property tax revenue and the mills required for those funds not subject to 15-10-429 MCA, which amount to 3.658 mills for the permissive medical levy and the 18.331 mills for the swimming pool general operating fund.
Before the council approved the resolution, Roosevelt County Library board member Laurie Evans asked why only $50,000 had been budgeted in the oil and severance tax when they have already been paid $52,000 for the fiscal year.
Mahlum said she did it in case they did not get any more payments, but she can raise it if desired.
Mahlum also said she can transfer money from the general fund or different departments if council so wished.
The council approved Resolution 880-2013.