Money focus of meeting
Money was the main topic at the Hammond Board meeting Monday night. Board members discussed everything from where to keep it to how it should be distributed among Village employees.
There was about a page of changes made to the Union contract with Village employees, among them were changes in the health insurance contracts.
Previously, the contract stated that Union employees had to have the state sponsored insurance plan. Now, with the changes, the Village Board can shop around for other insurance carriers that may be a better value. The other insurance carriers would have to be as good or better than the state-run insurance carrier currently used by employees.
All union employees will also get progressive wage increases that will go into effect this year. Employees will see a 3 percent increase in 2008, 2 percent in 2009 and 2 percent in 2010.
Wage increases were also approved for Village Clerk Kelly Brett, and Municipal Judge Sandy Nelson, who will move from $200 a month to $250 a month.
Poll workers who work during election periods will also be paid for their services. Election workers currently have to attend training sessions in order to become certified as election workers. They will now be paid $25 per session attended.
Public works employees will now get $100 a year for the purchase of boots they use on the job.
In other business:
The office hours at the Village offices were changed to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The previous hours had the offices opening at 7 a.m. The decision was made to change the hours because "there is not a lot of traffic in the morning," and to cut down on hours and overtime.
There were several motions to move the Village's finances from Associated Bank in Hammond to Citizen's Bank in Roberts. Each motion ended in a tie as there were only six Board members present, Steve Peterson was absent. The Board will revisit the subject at another meeting.
The Board discussed whether to keep the vision and dental insurance currently used by employees. Currently employees are offered coverage from the state and the Board is looking at other options that might better serve Village employees. It was determined that more investigation into the topic was needed and the subject would be revisited at a future meeting.
The Davis Street Revitalization Committee has been visiting other communities and gathering ideas to improve Davis Street in Hammond. The group is already taking project bids from various engineering firms, including Ayres Associates and Cedar Corp.
The Hammond Board meets regularly on the second Monday of each month in the Village offices at 7 p.m.