Overtime remains a part of Antrim Township operations

PAT FRIDGEN

With one month left in 2009, four Antrim Township employees had already exceeded their annual budgeted salaries and another was very close, due to overtime. The staff is working under the guidelines of the Dhillon Management Services operations study, conducted in the summer of 2008, which determined the township would run smoothly with fewer employees. In seeking greater efficiency, four supervisors supported the DMS report and restructured the government on Aug. 21, 2008, firing six employees.

The employees have racked up $33,515 in overtime pay as they fulfill their duties. The roadmaster/maintenance superintendent leads the pack. As of the Dec. 4 payroll report, he had earned $51,308, with $8,800 coming from overtime pay. His annual salary is $42,640. The secretary/treasurer was at $43,432, including $3,384 in overtime. Her salary is $42,848.

The utilities technician had earned $38,429 by Dec. 4, and his salary is $37,544. His overtime for 11 months was $3,371. The wastewater plant operator had earned $46,982, with $1,451 coming from overtime. His annual salary is $44,720.  One employee was just shy of reaching his full salary. The water treatment plant operator had earned $42,931, with $1,009 in overtime. His salary is $43,056.

Dhillon recommended

Dhillon's final report said the new staffing levels were appropriate for today and the future. By adopting his recommendations for in-house operations, he predicted employee output and performance would improve significantly. Because Antrim outsourced major projects, he said there would be little need for the number of staff to increase.

In particular, Dhillon wrote, "The recommended staffing level and organizational structure will not only appropriately position Antrim today, but will also put it in a position to deliver services effectively in the coming years. That is, not only are reduced staffing levels appropriate today, but the recommended staffing level and structure will fulfill any and all needs over the next five to 10 years."

However, supervisors are considering adding another person to the road department. They added $106,000 to the 2010 preliminary budget on Dec. 8 for that purpose, and to accomodate employee raises. The board has been discussing the matter for months and made reference to hiring an additional person several times. Antrim hired two college students over the summer to help with road crew tasks.

Dhillon had also indicated the township should contract water plant operations to the Borough of Greencastle. Antrim has not done that, but is in negotiations to sell the water system to the Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority.

He also recommended administrative positions be handled by two people. The township has three fulltime people covering the responsibilities of secretary, treasurer, receptionist, clerk and assistant. One of those people was transferred from utilities, a department Dhillon also found overstaffed. The township also hired a college student over the summer to help with office work.

The supervisors will decide Jan. 4 how to dispense raises and whether to hire another employee.

Executive session

At a special meeting Dec. 17, the supervisors met briefly to adjust employee Christmas bonuses. In November they had agreed to give each employee a $100 gift card. Last week they decided that would be unwieldy. Administrator Brad Graham said they voted to give $125 to fulltime employees and $65 to parttime employees. After taxes were deducted, that would be the approximate equivalent of $100 and $50.