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Detroit Lakes workers' pay to rise 10 percent over 3 years

The Detroit Lakes City Council approved labor agreements with the unions and the non-union personnel policies representing its employees.

Non-union employees will receive a 2 percent raise the first of 2009 and another 2 percent as of July 1, 2009; 3 percent as of Jan. 1, 2010; another 3 percent as of Jan. 1, 2011.

Health premiums for 2009 are $750 for singles and $1,500 per family; $500 for singles and $1,000 for families in 2010; in 2011 it will be $250 for singles and $500 for families.

The agreement with the Teamsters Union, which represents police officers, includes a pay differentiation at 60 cents in 2009, 70 cents in 2010, and 75 cents in 2011.

The agreement with AFSCME, which covers liquor store and public works employees, offers the same 100 percent monthly premium contribution to the health saving account.

The employee's health saving account deposit is $750 for 2009, $500 for 2010 and $250 for 2011 in single coverage, and $1,500 $1,000 and $500 for family.

"This is within the budget that we had planned for," Alderman Bruce Imholte said.

Other items at the city council meeting include:

- Mayor Matt Brenk gave a brief state of the city address.

He said over the last 20 years, Detroit Lakes has been extremely lucky to have such high quality leadership and hopes to continue that leadership in the future.

And Brenk added that 2008 was a tough year with cuts in local government aid.

"More often than not, we've turned challenges to opportunities," he said.

He added that the council will be hosting a series of public meetings for the public to give input on future service cuts the city will have to make.

Brenk said he'd like to ask people to help "move Detroit Lakes forward," with projects such as annexation, industrial park, relocation of the liquor store, recycling, getting rid of invasive plant species and more.

- Council approved a 30-day temporary license to Jon and Sons Disposal and Metro Disposal to have time to sit down with the businesses and discuss what they are doing to offer recycling to customers.

- Police Chief Kel Keena gave a brief update on the Honeywell Instant Alert System. He said he participated in a conference call to set up preliminary software for the system. It now takes three to four weeks to get the software going.

"Quite possibly I will be up and running by March," Keena said.

There is no fee for citizens to enroll in the alert program, which is paid for by the city.

- Council approved Jim Anderson as vice mayor for 2009.

- Other committee appointees were Jamie Marks Erickson to the Detroit Lakes Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Bruce Imholte to the Development Authority, Larry Buboltz to the Public Utilities Commission, Dan Josephson to the Park Board and Scott Mehlhaff and Melissa Hiemenz to the Detroit Lakes Tourism Bureau.