WORK SESSION MEETING DICKINSON CITY COMMISSION August 2, 2022 1.CALL TO ORDER President Scott Decker called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM. 2.ROLL CALL Present were: President Scott Decker, Vice President John Odermann, Commissioners Jason Fridrich, Suzi Sobolik and Robert Baer 3.TIMETABLE AGENDA 1. Personnel and Wage Scenarios Accountant Robbie Morey presents personnel requests, wage scenarios, and is looking for feedback and direction from the Commission. Administration is requesting an Executive Director for Marketing. He states this position is already in the budget. This would be a Grade 18 and Step 1 at $71,453. President Scott Decker visits about the grant position. He feels the City has not had any research if there are any grants available for the city. He feels initially an RFP could be good and then accompany a position for the city. City Administrator Dustin Dassinger suggests an RFP for this position. Deputy City Administrator Linda Carlson states NDLC does have a grant supplier and does send opportunities to the city from NDLC. She states the Library just hired a Financial Specialist for $10,000. She does feel that the city should put $50,000 into the budget for the support of having someone write grants for the city. Commissioner John Odermann feels the city should budget for the position, internally or externally. He is concerned that the city is not addressing what the city needs. Public Works Gary Zuroff states possibly put something in for consulting/contracting for the year. He thinks if anything more than that if it vets to the point it would be capital or a different fund that could be funding this position. City Administrator Dustin Dassinger states if the city does not try the city will not know if it would be able to fill the position. The city has not had a grant write position before. He states staff can work on a job description and see where it gets placed. Also, can work on an RFP and a job description for the position. Interim City Engineer Loretta Marshik states grants usually have a very short time frame to apply. HR Coordinator Shelly Nameniuk states the position is from $73,000 - $109,000 to help train staff on grant writing. Bismarck has a grant writer. Other cities show that each department writes their own grants. Commissioner Jason Fridrich questions why some positions are outlined in red. He feels until the positions are floated the city does not know if they would be able to be filled. Commissioner Fridrich does not understand why this was done. Accountant Robbie Morey is concerned if the city can’t hire one why would two be added to the budget. He feels that if the city has luck hiring one then the department can come back and ask for two. City Administrator Dustin Dassinger states the Executive Team tried to cut the budget down. Deputy City Administrator Linda Carlson states when she stalked to the Assessor Joe Hirschfeld he felt that he could hire someone and train them into the position. As for the promotion there is someone in his office that is already completing the work as a Deputy Assessor and Joe is working on the commercial. President Scott Decker states he does not understand why the city continues with Vanguard. If Vanguard cannot get to the city to do their valuations then the city should look at contracting someone else. Account Robbie Morey states the Executive Team removed all of the Building and Codes requests as there are positions open already and cannot be filled at this time. Commissioner Jason Fridrich feels something needs to change in order to get applications for these positions. HR Coordinator Shelly Nameniuk visits about the exempt salary position. The city did hire an employment lawyer to review this position and the lawyer stated this does not qualify as an exempt position. City Administrator Dustin Dassinger states the staff does not feel there is a real benefit from adding another code enforcement officer. There is a lot of time involved to get the issues resolved in mowing and weeds. HR Coordinator Shelly Nameniuk states one recent applicant applied and does not have a plumbing license. She states the Building Inspector III does not have a plumbing license either. Commissioner John Odermann feels the city is looking for a unicorn and a horse will do. Clarification needs to be done whether a plumbing license is required or not. Commissioner Jason Fridrich feels the city should contact the State for the requirements needed. He questions if the Building Official is unable to complete this job who will do the job. What is the reason for not hiring another Code Enforcement Officer. Does legal have the time to stay on top of the issues. President Scott Decker questions code violations in the city. He states possibly there is a need for another full-time code enforcement officer. He does not feel that one person can keep up with the size of the city. Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell states he would be surprised if someone in that position would need a professional license if they are only inspecting. Commissioner Jason Fridrich states the city inspects plumbing but the state inspects electrical. He states as far as plumbing is he does not know the qualifications. Interim City Engineer Loretta Marshik states Building Official Leonard Schwindt does have his license along with another person in the building has a plumbing license. She states should the Building Official not be able to do the inspections there is another licensed plumber on staff. City Administrator Dustin Dassinger asks Accountant Morey to turn the Code Enforcement officer to green. Accountant Robbie Morey discusses Building and Sites. President Scott Decker feels mowing cemeteries and drainage ditches take most of the employees’ time. He is wondering about hiring a private firm. Public Works Director Gary Zuroff states it takes 10-12 people to weed eat and mow the cemeteries. He does not feel that the city would be able to hire a contracted labor for that price. He would like to hire new facility operators for additional work for the downtown square upkeep. He states there are 10 seasonal working on the cemeteries every other week along with staff. He does not know what it will cost for the upkeep of the square. Commissioner John Odermann would like to see an RFP for cemeteries and drainage ditches and reallocate the seasonal and staff to other areas to include downtown square. City Administrator Dustin Dassinger states the downtown square is a year round facility and during the winter would be snow removal. He states someone needs to be in charge of the overall maintenance. Public Works Director Gary Zuroff states the difficulty with contracting it out would be that it is expensive and the city would not get the service that they have with the staff working on the cemeteries as this is tedious work. He does not feel the city will get an affordable contract to hire out the cemeteries. He is trying to get enough people to get the level of service the city is wanting. Director Zuroff states the downtown square will need maintenance and this was never discussed prior to building this facility. Commissioner John Odermann states in his experience that it would cost a lot more to contract out the mowing. He states when the hospital contracts out it costs the hospitality a significantly larger amount. Public Works Director Gary Zuroff states the city needs more people mowing than enforcing the mowing. Director Zuroff does not like for the city to look bad either. He wants it to be beautiful. Director Zuroff states the city does have two more regular mowers. Accountant Robbie Morey presents the City Commissioners budget. This will stay the same as presented. Interim City Engineer Loretta Marshik states is quite hard at this time to hire a GIS Tech. The city has talked about going out for a RFP for GIS work. The city will continue to keep the position open but will be creating an RFP for the position. She would like to have a couple of promotions such as the Development Specialist which is an admin position but does other duties to include building and codes, cemeteries, CIP project, planning and other duties. This department will move forward with their request. Finance department – will continue as presented. Fire – Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell state the request for three firefighters is that they are seeing an increase in call volume. In July there were over 100 calls for the month. The department is starting to get a little behind. He states firefighters come in three as there are three shifts and to have a full affect is to bring on three firefighters for the three shifts. He states since October they have had a lot of injuries and have not been able to open the other station 24/7. Fleet Department – will continue as presented and the goal is retention. HR/Risk Management – will continue as presented. Library – will continue as presented Police – Interim Police Chief Joe Cianni is requesting two officers. He would like to move the grade of dispatchers to assist with hiring for that position. He states one dispatcher took early retirement and the other one that was going to retire is going to continue on for a while more. Hiring is still a challenge. Interim Police Chief Joe Cianni discusses SRO officers and COPS grant. President Scott Decker is looking at positions such as solid waste and streets to bump up in pay like dispatch to recruit. Public Works Director Gary Zuroff visits about the achievable promotions which would fit into the org chart as presented. Sewer - continue as presented. Solid Waste – continue as presented. Street/Water/WRF – continue as presented in the presentation. Deputy City Administrator Linda Carlson presents wage scenarios. Ms. Carlson has called on cities and counties for comparison in wages and what is being suggested for merit and Cola raises for 2023. Ms. Carlson also discusses the general fund transfer from oil impact fund. She states the city does not normally use the full amount of transfer. During the wage comparison she states the city of Dickinson has lost positions to Cass and Dunn. She states Dunn county did go to a 9% increase. Commissioner John Odermann feels the city needs to go to at least 6% for an increase. The inflation at this time is 9.1% and does not seem like it is going anywhere soon. He feels the city is going to see an upward pressure on wages for the foreseeable future. Commissioner Odermann feels the city of Dickinson needs to stay competitive. President Scott Decker would like to see how many people will actually see the merit. He is fine with 6%. He states the economy at this time is wacky. HR Coordinator Shelly Nameniuk states that no one got anything more than a 2% for merit last year. She states maybe 3-5 people did not get the 2%. Deputy City Administrator Linda Carlson reviews the ARPA Funding which she has suggestions for the use of the ARPA funding. She feels the city has some options like putting back the $200 dollars into the Flex plan that was taken out in prior years and this would cost $40,000. Increase longevity to begin from year one instead of year 5. This would be an incentive. She states ARPA funding needs to be expended by 12/31/2026. She suggestions a few options such as $1 million dollars to improvement to public parking lots, streets, etc. $1.2 million to competitive wages; $800,000 to affordable housing and $143,076 to community grants. Ms. Carlson is looking for suggestions or ideas. She states if the city receives less than $10 million it goes straight to the general fund but when she completes the reports she has to be specific on what it is spent on. City Administrator Dustin Dassinger states behavioral health and homeless shelter still needs to be worked out but would allow the city to work with the homeless. Commissioner John Odermann states the $1.2 million for competitive wages/ market adjustments, he questions where this funding would come from in the future. This is looking at it for four years. Deputy City Administrator Linda Carlson states the city’s pay scale was completed three years ago and needs to have another market study. She is looking for ideas and suggestions at this time. President Scott Decker feels the $1.2 million, some could be used for type of recruiting mechanism. To actively seek individuals outside of North Dakota. To use some of the $1 million for public parking/streets/etc. Hopefully dredging the lake. Interim City Engineer Loretta Marshik suggests to the Commission the City is creating a list for an RFP for projects that have a time frame associated with them and states if the Commission is interested she can add the Patterson Lake to the RFP. Ms. Marshik will add Patterson Lake to the RFP. 4. ADJOURNMENT President Scott Decker states that upon a Commission Agreement the special meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m. DISPOSITION: Roll call vote… Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0 Motion declared duly passed. OFFICIAL MINUTES PREPARED BY: Rita Binstock, Assistant to City Administrator APPROVED BY: Dustin Dassinger, City Administrator Scott Decker, President Board of City Commissioners Date: __August 16, 2022 (August 10, 2022) 89493