Town budget reflects staffing, salary increases

Town of Coupeville will enter the coming year with a $4.46 million budget that provides additional employees, benefits and projects.

And a substantial pay increase for its mayor.

The Town Council voted to double Mayor Molly Hughes’ annual salary to $72,000 to reflect a full-time mayor position. Eight hours were also added to the town’s fiscal clerk position to provide administrative help for the Planning Department.

The 2017 budget was approved by the council this month and includes increases in employee benefits, incentives and pay.

While town employees will receive their standard 2 percent cost of living increase, the town is implementing “longevity” steps intended to offer “salary recognition” to employees who have longevity with the town, said Hughes.

For example, steps include a 3 percent pay raise after seven years with the town, a 2 percent raise after 10 years, and so on.

Additional employees and hours are also included in the new budget.

“The Public Works Department will be adding two full-time positions to help accomplish maintenance and projects outlined in the utility capital project plan,” Hughes said.

Only one seasonal position will be filled next year rather than two.

The town will also hire a full-time engineer. Cost of this position is coming, in part, from a utility rate increase implemented this past fall.

Insurance premium for employees went up 5 percent, but the town will be covering that increase. It also added a secondary insurance provider option for its employees.

The 2017 budget includes capital projects, among them a $75,000 Front Street storm water project to help mitigate erosion problems.

“When our engineer is hired he will be asked to prepare a design and construction budget so we can have a better idea of the total cost of this project,” Hughes said.

Funds are also delegated for street work, improvements to a municipal parking lot and construction of a new restroom at the Community Green, where the farmers market is held during the summer.

“We have applied for grants to complete this work,” Hughes said.

“If we are not successful in our application, these projects will not be completed.”

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