AURORA — The city is taking measures to replace payroll/accounting clerk Janice Lewandowski when she retires next April. At its Sept. 9 meeting, Council upgraded the position to payroll administrator, with a salary range of $53,000 to $58,000.

Finance Director Tim Clymer explained the administration will now advertise for the position, with an anticipated hiring date this fall so the new person can experience a substantial overlap period with Lewandowski for a seamless transition.

"The payroll administrator’s job description and pay range should help the city attract a well-qualified replacement to serve such a vital role for the city," Clymer said.

He pointed out that city officials have looked at hiring a third party for the position or automating the process, but determined that having an in-house person is a better option. "We believe automating is a possibility in the future, but not yet," he said.

In addition to performing the duties that Lewandowski handles now, Clymer said, the new administrator could take over some of the human resources director’s clerical duties. That way, the city would not have to hire an assistant to the HR director.

"We tried to address the importance of the position as best we could," said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

Other Business

In other personnel-related action, Council approved hiring of David Molnar as chief building official at $62 an hour and Brent Boyko as a firefighter/EMT driver at $18.30 per hour. Both will be part-timers and will replace departed employees.

Meanwhile, Council approved the purchases of a Ford F-250 pickup truck for the parks and recreation department, and sent the purchase of a MARCS radio consolette for dispatchers at the police station to second reading.

The mayor said the F-250 truck will replace one heavily damaged when a tree fell and smashed it while it was parked at the former Margaret Harmon farm on Page Road during a late August thunderstorm. The old truck was a 2008 F-350.

The mayor said the city can get the truck now for $38,490, and $13,000 will be recouped from the city’s insurance company. "It will end up being less costly than trading in the old truck for a new one in 2020," she said.

Police Chief Brian Byard explained since the city has taken over dispatching duties for some surrounding communities, the new consolette is needed. It will be bought from B&C Communications at a cost of $15,976. Byard said the city hopes the device will be installed before winter arrives.

Council appropriated $9,487 to the capital improvement fund for the STAR (sidewalk improvement) program. The city had budgeted $25,000 for the last year of the program (2019), and it needs $34,487 to pay for the completed work, thus the additional appropriation.

"The city is contributing only 50 percent of the cost [the affected residents pay the other 50 percent], but we have to front the entire cost until we receive reimbursement from residents of $17,243," Clymer explained.

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