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Glencoe City Council approves 3% raises for employees in 2015

After closing its public hearing on the 2015 tax levy and budget Monday night, the Glencoe City Council debated what kind of raise it will give its city employees.
City Administrator Mark Larson said the preliminary budget approved in September had a built-in 3 percent raise for city workers, but he recommended a 2.5 percent raise instead.
Mayor Randy Wilson felt a 2 percent raise was better for the budget, but Council Member John Schrupp argued that the 3 percent raise was warranted.
Wilson said the 2 percent raise was appropriate since the city also would be shouldering much of the health insurance cost increases.
But Schrupp said the city employees also are taking a hit with increases in insurance costs and recommended it remain at a 3 percent raise. He said that averages out to about a 60-cent-an-hour raise, but 35 cents of that would be needed to cover the employees’ health insurance increases.
Employees are taking home much more than they are now if the raises are less than 3 percent, Schrupp said.
Wilson said it was fortunate that the city had a slight increase in its local government aid (LGA) from the state, “but my concern is what happens in the future?”
Schrupp pointed out that not all of the raises come from the city’s general fund; some come from the city’s enterprise funds like the water and wastewater budgets. He also said that several years ago, city employees had their wages frozen with no increases.
When asked, City Treasurer Todd Trippel said the past three years have seen 2 percent raises for city employees.
For more, see the Dec. 3 print edition of The Chronicle.