Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 21, 2014

Five Kalona employees get 3 to 4 percent  pay raises for 2014-15

By Mary Zielinski | Jul 22, 2014

KALONA — The Kalona City Council Monday approved raises for five  city employees ranging from 3 to 4 percent, an increase in total wage costs of slightly less than $70,000 for 2014-15.  
The five are City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh, $69,494, a four percent raise from $66,821; City Clerk Karen Christner, $46,259; three percent up from $44,912; Streets Superintendent Ken Kempf, $43,447, three percent from $42,182; Water/Wastewater Superintendent Bob Christner, $39,050, three percent from $37,913 and Facilities Superintendent Matt Jacoby, $40,452, four percent from $38,896.  
There were no increases for new hires Ryan Farnsworth, Parks and Recreation  Superintendent and Keaton Redlinger, general laborer.
Additionally, the council approved increases, recommended by the library board for Library Director Anne Skaden, $39,282, a 3.54 percent increase from $37,919; Doreen McKenna, library assistant, $30,366, 3.54 percent from $29,328; Erin Schorn, youth librarian, $30,151, 3.54 percent from $29,320 and Chelsea Nizzi, assistant librarian (20 hrs weekly), $12,480. 4.34 percent from $11,596.
The council also approved vacation allocations of two weeks after one year, three weeks after five years, four weeks after 15 years and five weeks after 20 years. Karen Christner has 35 years, Bob Christner, 25 and Kempf, 23.
For Jody Bailey, coordinator for the English River Watershed Management Authority (ERWMA) that is based in Kalona,her contract salary goes from $36,000 to $37,000, that will be covered by ERWMA funds, not City of Kalona ones.
City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh told the council the city has filed three claims, totaling $197,941, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for flood damage to public property that happened June 30 and July 1.  The filing came after Washington County was declared a disaster county and will be reviewed by FEMA.  He noted that the full cost of the flooding is near $250,000 and that the city’s insurance company already denied the approximate $37,00 claim for the lift station repairs as “an act of God,” and “we expected that.”
The other claims involve storm sewer, $127,700 and 6th Street and pipe damage, ranging from $18,000 to $31,300.
Schlabaugh also detailed the need to deal with storm water damage east of Casey’s on Highway 22 involving two sanitary sewer manholes.  He said the city needs to raise the manholes and add sealed chimney seals as a prevention.  Equally important is reshaping the drainage ditch along highway 22, “and we have a bid of $950 to do this.”
“The final piece is Casey’s and we have reached out to corporate to bring them onsite to evaluate their roof runoff and how best it can be detained.”  Currently, it goes to ground and then to the low spots which is the sanitary sewer manholes.
In other business, the council:
•learned the city officials met with the Iowa Department of Transportation July 14 to discuss the Iowa Highway 22 bridge project and that the state proposed  bridge “does not do enough to mitigate or even reduce flood hazard boundaries north of the structure,” said Schlabaugh. However, he called it a “productive meeting.” The DOT agreed to go back and look at other options he said, noting that Kalona has had and will continue to have the assistance of the Iowa Flood Center on this.  Because the project is to go to bid in January “there is some urgency,” said Schlabaugh;
•heard a presentation from a Relay for Life (cancer fundraiser and support group) representative for the event set in Washington August 18-22 and asking for a city representative at the proclamation signing August 18;
•approved final payment of $3,078 to Maxwell Construction for the South A Avenue storm sewer project;
•approved a liquor license for Dollar General; and
•learned that because Kalona has a hazard mitigation plan on file with the state, it is eligible for hazard mitigation fund grants that are competitive (not an easy process, said Schlabaugh) and provide for 75 percent federal money, 10 state and 15 from local funds.

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