Columbia aldermen amend personnel policies

Published 3:25 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Columbia Board of Aldermen adopted two new personnel policies September 4.

The first requires employees to remain in the town’s employ for three years after receiving town-paid certifications or licenses.

The cost of certification training will be deducted from the final paychecks of employees who quit their jobs before the three years have expired.

The policy also states that the town encourages certification training, and employees in the Water-Sewer or Building Inspection departments are eligible for a 1.5% pay increase for each required certification earned.

Town manager Rhett White pointed out to the aldermen that there are seven or eight certifications in water-sewer operations and five in building inspections.

“We will always be in a situation of people leaving us because people are hiring certified employees,” White explained. “If we hire someone without water or sewer opertions experience, he or she must work six months before taking a course.”

The second policy declares that the town will give compensatory time off for overtime work, at the rate of 1.5 times the overtime hours worked, for employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Employees are expected to take their comp time within the calendar month after the month it is accrued, and no employee can accumulate more than 60 hours comp time.

White announced that Tim Oliver, water-sewer department supervisor, intends to retire┬áNovember 1. This came on the heels of Dustin Combs’s recent resignation as water-sewer operator.

White also said that Bill Ward was hired as street worker and building inspector after Nathan McPeak recently returned to the sheriff’s office.

The aldermen authorized White to adjust compensation rates for those positions, plus those of the office clerk and the maintenance worker in the water-sewer department, as long as the departmental total is not increased.