By MATT KOESTERS
Christmas will come early for employees of the Town of Clarksville this year — Dec. 14 to be specific.
That’s when full-time, nonunion employees will receive a bonus equal to 1 2/3 percent of their salaries over the last three years.
Town employees have not received a raise in each of the last three years, said Councilman Bob Polston, who introduced the proposal to award the bonuses — Polston calls them “supplements” — at a work session following the council’s regular meeting Monday.
“We’re getting ready to head into the fourth year, so I just thought it was time that we did give them a supplemental increase,” Polston said, “and the best time to do it is, I think, now, instead of waiting until January or February. Do it before Christmas and it may help somebody’s Christmas.”
The council voted unanimously to approve the supplements. According to town employee Roberta Mclemore, the size of the bonuses range from $1,300 to $3000, depending on the size of a given employee’s salary and the length of the employee’s service. Those employed by the town for less than three years would receive a smaller bonus.
The total cost of the supplements is $164,181. The bulk of the bonuses — $91,571 — are being paid for out of the town’s general fund, with an additional $31,683 coming from the town’s parks fund. The rest is coming from the town’s street, economic development, wastewater billing and stormwater funds.
The supplements will not affect employee longevity, Mclemore told the council.
The council suspended work-session rules to act on the bonuses to ensure that employees received the money Dec. 14, the last paycheck issued to employees before Christmas, Polston said.
“You’ve got to go over the facts and the figures and talk to the financial adviser. I mean, that’s just nothing you would do in a regular board meeting,” Polston said. “You could vote on it at a regular board meeting, which we could have done Dec. 17, but that would have taken it past Dec. 14, which is the last pay [check].”
The council plans to pass an ordinance at the Dec. 17 meeting authorizing the bonuses, Polston said.
A call placed to Indiana Public Access Counselor Joe Hoage concerning the legality of the council’s actions at the work session was not immediately returned.
The council is considering bonuses for part-time employees, and also will likely act on bonuses at the council’s next regular meeting Dec. 17.
WASTEWATER IT PURCHASES
The town council approved the purchase of software and information technology services as part of its effort to remunicipalize the town’s wastewater treatment plant at its regular meeting Monday. The software in use at the wastewater treatment plant is licensed to Indiana American Water, which will operate the plant until the end of the year.
The purchases, which were packaged and approved at a cost not to exceed $14,000, includes two separate software packages from Hach for a total of $10,800, with the balance going to Infinite Solutions for hardware and installation services.
STRIPING, STREET CUT WORK
The council unanimously approved a $49,613 contract with Clarksville-based Gohmann Asphalt for work on two major Clarksville streets.
The work will include restriping on Blackiston Mill Road and the repair of failed street cuts along Progress Way, said Clarksville Street Commissioner Brad Cummings.
The work should be completed by Dec. 14, Cummings said.