The city of Flandreau will be outsourcing its payroll to a North Dakota company in order to free up time for employees to do other tasks.
The city council voted 5-1 in favor of entering a contract with CBI Business Services for the payroll services, which will cost the city $2,600 a year. Alderman Bob Pesall voted against the idea. He said not everyone wants to have their paycheck directly deposited, which is a requirement under the new system.
City administrator Jeff Pederson said the switch to a payroll processing company will add efficiencies and strengthen some of the payroll functions. The payroll has been done by the utility billing clerk. It will free up about eight hours of work weekly at city hall, time that can be spent on other jobs, he said.
“I really like the idea of somebody who does that being in charge of that,” he said.
When at work, employees will be able to use a timeclock on their phones to check in. That means employees, such as those who move snow, won’t have to go to a physical timeclock before starting working.
The system also will keep track of employee vacation hours, sick leave and comp time. All timecards still will be approved by a supervisor.
The company also provides payroll services for Dakota Layers and was recommended by Alderman Jason Unger.
City employees received a 1.75 percent cost of living increase in pay for 2020.
In other business,
•The council approved a bid of $36,000 for playground equipment to be installed at the mobile home park near Broad Avenue and Veterans Street. The city has a grant that covers half of the cost of the project.
Dakota Playground of Fargo, N.D., won the bid after a review by a committee that included the mayor, city employees and a citizen who looked at the three companies’ ideas for the playground and scored them. Dakota Playground received the highest score.
“Ultimately, the recommended company presented a configuration of playground equipment that the committee thought was most attractive for kids,” Pederson said.
Much of the equipment from the park was removed in 2018 because it was determined to be in poor shape or unsafe. It had been installed in 2000.
The playground will be ADA accessible with a ramp and will include a slide, swings, saddle spinners and other features and will be set on a woodchip surface. It should be installed by May.
The park provides a playground in an area that is isolated from other parks, Pederson said. “This project was well needed.”
•Pederson asked to council to consider whether it needed a shorter time between a snowfall and when people are ticketed and towed. Flandreau allows for 72 hours for people to get vehicles off the street, but many communities have a much shorter time, such as 24 hours, he said.
“I don’t think it’s the biggest prob the community has, but what we’re seeing is asking residents to help the city do a better job of plowing the streets,” he said. “We aren’t really asking much right now.”
The city typically plows the streets within 24 hours.