Mayor Craig along with the Bedford City Council proposes raises for public safety personnel

BEDFORD – Bedford Mayor Sam Craig along with the Bedford City Council proposed raises for the public safety personnel, utility department supervisors, administration, and the city attorney in the 2022 budget cycle.

Mayor Sam Craig

All city employees will receive a five percent raise if their wages were not listed in the new wage scale that was proposed.

The Bedford City Council met in a special session on Monday to discuss the proposals for the 2022 budget year. The council will take a vote on the proposed 2022 budget at their September meeting.

Bedford City employees did not receive a raise last year. The city will not experience a health insurance cost increase this year.

The salary increases for public safety personnel come after Baker Tilly Financial advisors released the results of a salary study. This salary study compared Bedford to the cities of Lebanon, Huntington, and Frankfort who are similar in size in tax base and assessed value. Bedford Mayor Sam Craig requested the study to look at the disparity of pay.

The City of Bedford’s goal is to reach a market rate of compensation comparable to these three cities.

The proposal will include a 12 percent pay raise for both the police and fire chief with their salary going from $57,168.80 to $64,029.42.

The goal was to reduce the turnover rate among the public safety and utility sectors.

Experienced turnover totals by the department from January 1, 2017 – July 14, 2021 include :

  • Utilities – 5 retirements, 2 transferred within the city, 2 similar employment, 5 left for career change, 1 resignation for reason unknown (15 total)
  • Parks Department – 3 left for a career change, 1 was asked to vacate the position, 1 resigned due to medical reasons. (5 total)
  • Street Department – 2 retired, 1 left for a career change, 1 left due to medical reasons. (4 total)
  • Administration – 3 retired, 2 resigned. (4 total)
  • Bedford Police Department Dispatch – 2 retired, 2 transferred within the city, 2 left due to job stress, 2 resigned for reason unknown, 1 left for a career change. (9 total)
  • Bedford Police Department – 6 retirements, 8 resignations, 2 retired but transferred within the city, 3 left for career change (19 Total)
  • Fire Department – 8 retirements, 3 left for similar employment with one returning, 3 left for career change ( 14 total)

According to Mayor Craig, the two departments with the largest turnovers at this time are the police department and the utility department.

New positions were created in the water/wastewater department. Under the old salary ordinance, these two individuals supervise personnel and perform duties at both the water treatment facility and wastewater treatment plant.

These individuals must also maintain certifications to hold these positions. Each new supervisory position’s annual salary will equate to $49,961.

The city council is recommending a raise of 7 percent for the mayor and clerk-treasurer.

Mayor Sam Craig recommended a ten percent raise for his assistant Debbie Andry who works long hours and does not receive overtime compensation.

Mayor Craig also requested that city attorney Greg Pittman receive a 10 percent increase. The Mayor attributed this request because he has asked the city attorney to attend RDC meetings, which were not previously attended. He has also requested for Pittman to review and manage additional legal matters for the city.

Current Wage comparisons for Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer:

  • Bedford Mayor – $69,155.84
  • Lebanon Mayor – $88,068
  • Huntington Mayor – $75,419.76
  • Frankfort Mayor – $79,472

Clerk-Treasurer:

  • Bedford – $59,772.18
  • Lebanon – $79,138
  • Huntington – $67,291.12
  • Frankfort – $70,456

For six years the mayor and clerk-treasurer have not requested raises under previous administrations.

Bedford Fire Department Proposed Raises:

  • Fire Chief – Current Salary $57,168.80 – New Salary $64,029.42 a 12 percent increase plus longevity pay
  • Battalion Chief – Current Salary $53,949.48 – New Salary $60,751.60 an 8 percent increase plus $2,500
  • Captain – Current Salary $51,374.70 – New Salary $58,484.92 an 8 percent increase plus $3,000
  • Lieutenant – Current Salary $49,530 – New Salary $53,492.40 an 8 percent increase
  • Senior Firefighter – Current Salary $48,168.84 – New salary $52,041 an 8 percent increase
  • First Class Firefighter – Current Salary $48,288.28 – New Salary $51,071 an 8 percent increase

Bedford Police Department Proposed Raises:

  • Police Chief – Current Salary $57,168.80 – New Salary $64,029.42 plus longevity pay, a 12 percent increase
  • Assistant Chief – Current Salary $55,553.16 – New Salary $61,663.94 an 11 percent increase
  • Major – Current Salary – $53,936.48 – New Salary $60,751.60 an 8 percent pay increase plus $2,500
  • Captain – Current Salary $51,374.70 – New Salary $58,484.92 an 8 percent pay increase plus $3,000
  • Sergeant – Current Salary $48,186.84 – New Salary $53,005.42 an 8 percent pay increase
  • First Class Police Officer – Current Salary $47,288.28 – New Salary $51,071.28 an 8 percent pay increase
  • Radio Dispatch Supervisor – Current Rate of Pay – $20.72 ($43,097) – New Rate of Pay $22,38 ( $46,550)

Both the police and fire departments receive longevity pay in addition to their salary, this has been in effect for several years.

Police and fire personnel longevity pay is comprised of:

  • 2-3 years – Clothing allowance $900
  • 4th year – $61.61 bi-weekly pay – $1,601.86 yearly – Clothing allowance – $200 up to 20 years
  • 5th year – $65.07 bi -weekly pay – $1,691.82 yearly
  • 6th year – $68.53 bi-weekly pay – $1,781.78 yearly
  • 7th year – $72,00 bi-weekly pay – $1,872.00 yearly
  • 8th year – $75.46 bi-weekly pay – $1,961.96 yearly
  • 9th year – $78.92 bi-weekly pay – $2,051.92 yearly
  • 10th year – $82.38 bi-weekly pay – $2,141.88 yearly
  • 11th year – $85.84 bi-weekly pay – $2,231,84 yearly
  • 12th year – $89.30 bi-weekly pay – $2,321.80 yearly
  • 13th year – $92.76 bi-weekly pay – $2,411.76 yearly
  • 14th year – $96.23 bi-weekly pay – $2,501.98 yearly
  • 15th year – $99.69 bi-weekly pay – $2,591.94 yearly
  • 16th year – $103.15 bi-weekly pay – $2,681 yearly
  • 17th year – $106.61 bi-weekly pay – $2,771.86 yearly
  • 18th year – $110.07 bi-weekly pay – $2,861.82 yearly
  • 19th year – $113.53 bi- weekly pay – $2,951.78 yearly
  • 20th year – $117.00 bi-weekly pay – $3,042 yearly

Utilities Department

  • Water/Wastewater Supervisor – New position – rate of pay $24.02 ($49,961)
  • Distribution Supervisor – New position – rate of pay $24.02 ($49,961)
  • Filtration Plant Superintendent – current rate of pay – $23.57 ($49,025) new rate of pay $25.46 ($52,956)
  • Distribution System Superintendent – current rate of pay – $23.57 ($49,025) new rate of pay $25.46 ($52,956)
  • Waste Water Plant Superintendent- current rate of pay- $23.57 ( $49,025) new rate of pay $25.46 ($52,956)

Department Heads

  • Utilities Director – Current Salary – $57,168.80 – New salary $62,885.68 a 10 percent pay increase
  • Director of Planning and Zoning – Current salary $56,168 – New salary $62,313.94 a 9 percent pay increase
  • Director of Adminstrative Services – Current salary $57,168.80 – New salary $62,313.94 a 9 percent pay increase
  • Street Commissioner – Current salary $57,168.80 – New Salary $61,742.20 an 8 percent pay increase
  • Director of Parks and Recreation – Current salary $57,168.80 – New salary $61,742.20 an 8 percent pay increase
  • Transportation Director – Current salary $57,168.80 – New Salary $60,598.98 a 6 percent pay increase
  • Business and Community Development Director – Current Salary $57,168.80 – New Salary $60,698.98 a 6 percent pay increase

Administration

  • Mayors Assistant – Current Salary $48,910.94 – New Salary $53,802.06 a 10 percent pay increase
  • City Attorney – Current Salary $30,764 – New Salary $33,841 a 10 percent pay increase

At this time, the above proposals are merely recommendations. The city council is expected to vote on the raises and the proposed 2022 budget will be advertised on September 10, 2021. The final adoption of the budget for 2022 is not expected until sometime in November 2021.

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