The April retirement of one full-time parks employee may lead to a restructuring of duties and addition of a third part-time summer worker.
New London Parks and Rec Director Chad Hoerth suggested the changes at a meeting of the city’s Finance and Personnel Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
The parks division currently has three full-time employees; two year-round part-time employees; and two part-time seasonal employees who work from mid-May through August.
The worker who plans to retire April 1, 2014, has pesticide certification, according to Hoerth.
He proposed tailoring one of the three full-time jobs as a “plant guy.”
That person would obtain pesticide certification, which involves attending one class, according to Hoerth. The plant person would deal with ash tree injections, which Hoerth said the city would be “ramping up on” to prevent the spread of deadly disease.
Other plant duties include preparation and maintenance of a future community garden, landscaping, and weed and turf chemical spraying.
Hoerth said the third seasonal employee could handle watering. A second vehicle like a John Deere gator would be needed for that work, according to Hoerth.
The city has one gator, outfitted with chemical tanks for summer work. To use it for watering would involve swapping of tanks, according to Hoerth.
He estimated the cost of a used two-wheel-drive gator “in the $8,000 range.”
Seasonal staffers work 720 hours, according to a chart Hoerth provided to the committee. He did not provide salary costs for adding the third part-time seasonal job.
Committee chairman John Romberg suggested Hoerth get costs together for committee consideration.
Garage, Property Sale
The committee gave unanimous approval for the city to spend money for planning for a new city garage before bond funding is secured in September 2015.
City finance director Judy Radke described it as the city borrowing from itself to cover interim costs of the project.
The resolution to reimburse expenditures from the proceeds of borrowing was on the agenda for full New London Common Council consideration on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
The council also was to consider the sale of city-owned property on County X.
The finance committee approved the sale of the 15 acres to Tanner Berg for $47,000.
In a memo to the committee, city administrator Kent Hager said the property was appraised in 2011 for $2,800 to $3,200 per acre, a total of $42,000 to $48,000. The memo said the city acquired the property in 1985 for $16,500.
It has been leased for farming in recent years, raising about $900 a year.