Employees in the city of New Castle have received bonuses in the past, but now there will be an ordinance in place to structure those year-end and anniversary bonuses.
“It was okay that we had given bonuses. It wasn’t illegal,” said Mayor Denny Benham. “We just didn’t have an ordinance that addressed it.”
The proposed ordinance, which had a first reading at Monday night’s commission meeting, amends the city’s personnel code to include year-end bonuses to be given on or about Dec. 1, and creates an employee recognition program that will reward full-time employees on landmark employment anniversaries.
Year-end bonuses of money or gifts up to $500 in value can be awarded to full-time employees, while part-time employees can receive money or gifts up to $100 in value. The employee recognition program will award full-time employees with a bonus of $75 after five years of service, $100 after 10 years, then increase in increments of $50 for each five years of service after that.
Commissioners were in favor of the plan, which was first discussed at last month’s meeting. City attorney Joe Yates modeled the ordinance from a similar one in place in the city of Eminence.
“I think it’s an incentive for employees, knowing they will get something for staying on,” said Commissioner Linda Golden.
In other business:
•The city conducted the second reading of an ordinance that approved the lease for financing of a firetruck. The amount for the truck after financing will be $120,594, which the fire department will pay. The truck should be ready for use by March 1.
•The commission established its annual assignment of business units for its members: Harry Mitchell - infrastructure. Charlie Sevier – economic development; Linda Golden – fire and safety; Janet King – personnel; and mayor Denny Benham – finance. Mitchell will also serve as Mayor Pro-tem.
•Mainstreet Manager Jeff Thoke is researching the licensing fees to show movies at the town’s movie nights. The fees vary, so Thoke and others will develop a list of potential movies then get an average cost per movie. He hopes to find sponsors to assume those costs, which he anticipates will be about $200 per movie. He also said the city is very close to raising the funds needed to purchase a quality projector. So far, about $750 has been collected, with another $300 needed.
•The date of June 14 has been set for this year’s Spring Fling, Charlie Sevier told the commission. The overriding theme of this year’s celebration will be patriotism, with plans to honor WWII veterans.