Wages set for seasonal summer city employees
The Red Oak Park and Tree Board is looking at options for a pool manager for the upcoming summer season.
Park and Tree Board Chairman Bill Drey said Mayor Shawnna Silvius had been in contact with the League of Cities for information on the pool. Park superintendent Adam Van Der Vliet said Silvius was looking details for a job description.
“She reached out to the League of Cities for what the job entailed, and rate of pay to get an idea of what the cost would be for a pool manager,” said Van Der Vliet.
Drey added that there is still uncertainty as to whether the board can afford to pay for the position, and were awaiting the final FY 2022-23 budget from the City of Red Oak. No further action was taken.
Members of the board also finalized the rates for the seasonal park employees and pool employees for 2023.
Park and Tree Board Chairman Bill Drey said the recommendation, pending next year’s budget numbers, was to raise all salaries by a quarter.
“If we need to come back and address it later on, or approve a higher rate, we can do that. If we approve a quarter raise, it gives us a start and raises the salary a little more than last year,” Drey said.
Board member Alex McFarland said she was struggling with the suggestion for a small pay raise due to the higher rates of pay afforded by other area businesses, such as grocery stores and fast food restaurants.
“There are some places that have a starting wage of $14 an hour. But I can’t pay anyone that much, so I get what we’re dealing with here. The daycare that operates through the old Washington building has a $14 per hour starting wage, even for part time positions,” commented McFarland.
Current wages for seasonal park employees is $10.50 for first hires, $11 for two to four year employees, and $11.50 for employees who have worked five years or more. Drey made it clear that the quarter suggestion was just a start, and could be revised.
The board approved the wage increase of 25 cents for all three tiers of seasonal employee wages.
Also under discussion was the rate for pool employees. For 2022, The assistant pool manager earned $11.75, new lifeguards were paid $9.25, and returning lifeguards received $9.50. The salary for new pool attendants was $8.50, and returning was $9.
Park superintendent Adam Van Der Vliet said he had reached out to several similar-sized pools in the area and all varied in pay.
“In Mills County, the assistant pool manager makes $14.57 per hour, and lifeguards $11 per hour. They do not have a manager, they have an aquatics director through their YMCA. Creston had a pool manager that made $15 per hour, the assistant manager made $13 per hour. First year lifeguards made $10, and returning lifeguards $10.25,” commented Van Der Vliet.”
Finally, in Harlan, the pool manager was $15 per hour, and the base wage for lifeguards was $8.50. They also give an incentive for hours worked, so if they work 100 hours, they get a bonus of 50 cents per hour. Atlantic’s manager gets $13 per hour, they have no assistant managers, and the first year guards make $11.25. Returning guards are $11.50, and they could hardly find anyone last year.”
Van Der Vliet added, the pool will be open as much as possible as long as staffing allows. The board needed to find as many guards as possible for what the budget allowed.
As with the seasonal employees, Drey said the recommendation was to start with a quarter raise across all the positions with the potential to change the rates following the publication of the city’s budget.
McFarland was in favor of making the assistant pool manager $12 to $13, $10 for lifeguards, and around $9,25 for attendants.
“It’s not raising it much but it at least gets us into the ballpark of other pools, and shows we’re making an effort to try to do better,” advised McFarland.
The board approved a salary increase to $12 for the assistant manager. $10.25 for returning lifeguards, and $10 for new lifeguards, and for pool attendants, $8.75 for new attendants, and $9.25 for returning pool attendants.
The park board also discussed the renewal of a concession stand lease at the pool during the summer season. Drey said the same group that did concessions last year, and was affiliated through a local church, was interested in renewing the lease. Van Der Vliet said the arrangement was profitable last year.
“We made around $200 from the concessions lease, which is more that we made from it in the past. It worked out very well last year, and we worked well with each other,” commented Van Der Vliet.
The board approved renewing the concession stand lease. Van Der Vliet said the board made 10% from the sales from the stand.
The board also reviewed the lifeguard manual for the municipal pool. Van Der Vliet said he had no change recommendations. The board was advised to review the manual and make any suggestions for edits at the next park and tree board meeting.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the Montgomery County Family YMCA’s request of the Kelly Park fields for the spring 2023 soccer season. Drey said the YMCA has liability insurance for the event.
• Approved the YMCA’s request for the Chautauqua park fields for the co-ed slow pitch softball league.