Banyai severance package approvedA severance package for a long-standing police lieutenant was unanimously approved at a Dickinson City Commission meeting at City Hall Monday evening and the officer’s last day is slated for May 31.
A severance package for a long-standing police lieutenant was unanimously approved at a Dickinson City Commission meeting at City Hall Monday evening and the officer’s last day is slated for May 31.
In an effort to boost efficiency, the Dickinson Police Department underwent a restructuring and in the process three lieutenant positions were eliminated, including that of Lt. Rod Banyai.
“He would retire as a lieutenant, a police lieutenant with the City of Dickinson and be provided some severance benefits as he ceases his employment,” said City Attorney Matt Kolling.
Initially, it was thought to allow the positions to dissolve through promotion or retirement, but more recently, officials discussed demoting the officers to complete the restructure, according to a previous Press article.
Prior to the reorganization, Banyai was in charge of writing grants, taking care of vehicles and drafting press releases.
After the reorganization, he was relocated to the DPD’s front window.
Banyai will receive 50 percent of his accrued sick leave, as compared to present city ordinance which entitles employees to 25 percent of sick time.
Kolling said the severance package also includes two months severance pay at Banyai’s regular pay rate, amounting to slightly more than $9,000, minus any withholdings.
“Mr. Banyai will be entitled to any of the other employment benefits that other employees are eligible for just as if he was retiring under a normal
circumstance,” Kolling said. “In exchange for this agreement Mr. Banyai does execute a waiver and release waiving any claims that he might have against the City of Dickinson.”
In other matters, St. Paul, Minn.-based development company MetroPlains, LLC has been granted a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, for his proposed rebuilding 30 Section 8 housing units lost in a July 8 tornado.
At an April City Commission meeting, real estate developer Gary Stenson of MetroPlains said plans were to construct 44 units, however those plans changed about two weeks ago and the units were reduced to 36.
The PILOT grants about $283,000 in tax relief over the course of 17 years.
The project would be funded using several sources, including a Rural Development Guaranteed Mortgage, HOME funds through Affordable Housing Developers Inc. and low income housing tax credits from the North Dakota Housing and Finance Agency.
“We ended up at about $622,000 and that figure was basically 25 percent of the state’s annual tax credit allocation,” Stenson said. “I think we’re making good progress, we’re not quite there yet.”
Stenson said his company initially requested a PILOT for $5,000 a year, but City Commissioners approved a payment of $16,000 a year with a 3 percent increase for 17 years.
After the PILOT was initially requested, some city officials expressed apprehension in granting the tax relief, fearing it could become a popular request from developers.
“Really when he gets this PILOT, he’s getting quite a big tax break and we wouldn’t do that for just any project,” said Mayor Dennis Johnson. “Had we not lost the housing in the tornado I’m not sure we would do this for additional low-income housing, but since we lost so much and then when you couple with the growth here you probably have quite a bit of demand for it.”
In other business:
- City Commission approved a 2010 landfill permit renewal and application which included an unbudgeted $5,000 application fee.
- Dickinson entrepreneur Jayne Ridl, requested the City Commission look into granting an additional On/Off Sale liquor license as the population has risen. Ridl is aspiring to open a nightclub. The city, however, has no procedure as to how to distribute the license among others that may want to access it as well.
- New developments may soon begin as approval was given for several final plats including Dakota Crossing Subdivision, Painted Canyon Estates and a rezoning request for Country Oaks Estates.
- July 10 was officially declared Arbor Day.