Dorr Twp. approves pay raises with less haggling

Laurie Perry is the new treasurer at Dorr Township after being appointed in February.

The subject of pay raises once again prompted some wailing and gnashing of teeth on the Dorr Township Thursday night, but it wasn’t as big a fight as years gone by.

Everybody was granted a pay increase, despite some debate, particularly compensation for hourly employees such as the office manager and maintenance supervisor. Interestingly, there was virtual unanimous agreement on granting of cost of living allowances for all salaried elected officials.

“This is always fun,” quipped Supervisor Jeff Miling sarcastically. “But we’ve gone two to three years without anything… I don’t believe we’re being compensated appropriately for the work we do.”

After the smoke cleared, Miling, Clerk Debbie Sewers and new Treasurer Laurie Perry each will be paid a monthly salary of $3,080, or $36,960 annually. The figure includes a cost of living adjustment (COLA)

Meanwhile, each of the four township trustees was granted COLA at 5.9%, getting a bump in pay from $3,500 to $3,760 annually.

The only real disagreement during the evening came when Trustee Chandler Stanton moved to increase all hourly employees by $1.50. Miling amended his proposal by insisting first that office manager Vicki Fifelski receive the same hourly compensation at $23.21 an hour as maintenance supervisor Randy Grantham.

Though Stanton balked at first, he eventually agreed to that provision and agreed to $1.50 pay raises for five hourly employees and the deputy treasurer, deputy supervisor and deputy clerk.

Stanton’s protest was that the maintenance supervisor puts up with work conditions the office manager doesn’t have to.

Miling, however, pointed out that Fifelski has been office manager for nine years, seven more than Grantham.

“She know a lot about the office and she keeps it running,” he maintained.

In other business at Thursday night’s meeting, the board:

• Noted that the rebuilding of 16th Street from 140th to 142nd Avenue will be done by Brenner Excavating.

• Was told by Dorr Township Library Director Jeffrey Babbitt that March was the strongest month in terms of checkout numbers since the beginning of 2021. He also told board members he and the Then & Now Genealogical Library are working on a project to make local history more accessible and is seeking grant funding.

• Received a depressing report from Amanda Winters of the Parks Board. She said vandalism continues at the South Park bathrooms, and though the water is OK, it has odor. She said perhaps it would be wise to replace the bathrooms with “Portapotties” to save money.

• Was told by Winters that this year’s Fourth of July celebration will feature a parade, fireworks, a carnival, disc golf a 5K run, blood draw bus, tractor pull, flag raising, cornhole tournament, car show and church service. The festival will be held from Friday evening, July 1, through Monday night, July 4.

• Adopted a resolution to approve the master plan, which updates the old plan from 2007.

• Learned from Fire Chief Gary Fordham that the department expects the arrival of the new fire truck, which cost $376,000 to be sometime in late May.

• Agreed to make an annual payment of $27,414.87 to Wayland Area Emergency Services.

• Approved a proposal from Clerk Debbie Sewers to pay up to $4,000 for purchase and installation of surveillance cameras.

“We’ve been talking about security cameras for at least eight years,” she said, “and I’m getting sick to my stomach. We’ve got to be the only municipality that doesn’t have a camera on its property.”

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