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Raises for New Haven employees approved

– Although all New Haven city government employees and elected officials will receive 2 percent raises in 2014, they were cautioned there might not be another increase in the next few years.

The City Council approved the increases and gave an extra boost to two salaries – the mayor’s executive assistant and the global information system technologist.

Mayor Terry McDonald’s executive assistant, Deb Anne Smith, will receive a raise of about $5,000, half in 2014 and the rest the following year. She will earn $40,955 next year.

She has taken on many more responsibilities, including organizing city events, handling trash complaints, being a neighborhood advocate and writing and publishing the city’s newsletter, McDonald said.

The GIS position will be raised by $1,916, for a salary of $43,549.

In comparing the salaries of other GIS employees in cities of comparable size, the salary of New Haven’s lone GIS consultant, Nicholas Gross, was below standard, said Keith Schlegel, director of engineering.

“He does all the mapping, knows the system and we could not replace him for what we are currently paying him, Schlagel said.

The raises were approved as part of the proposed $14.7 million 2014 budget.

This year employees received across-the-board increases of $700.

“I can’t say that the city can continue with a 1 or 2 percent increase in the coming years,” said Greg Guerrettaz, the city’s financial consultant.

The amount contributed by the city to employees’ health savings accounts will drop from $2,100 to $1,900 next year and then continue to drop, he said.

The city has 91 full-time employees in addition to part-time and seasonal workers, McDonald said.

The budget includes just over $2 million for road improvements.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held Sept. 10.

Annexation

New Haven will annex about 83 acres at the southwest corner of Seiler and Minnich roads.

The voluntary annexation site is largely agricultural and is currently owned by the Oehler family, said Brian Yoh, director of Planning and Economic Development.

The site is adjacent to city water and sewer lines and could be developed commercially or as single family residences.

The next step is a public hearing and putting together a fiscal plan for the site, Yoh said.

vsade@jg.net

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