The City of Lake Ozark wants to appropriately reward its employees and do its best to retain employees.
The board of aldermen recently approved first reading of an ordinance authorizing pay adjustments for employees in the police, dispatch, and public works departments. Second reading is expected at the regular Sept. 28 meeting.
City Administrator Dave Van Dee said that the recent passage of a Camden County sales tax increase to fund the Camden County Sheriff’s Department was one motivator in Lake Ozark deciding to address the pay issue.
“There appears to be an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and my goal is to bring our lowest starting wage closer to that level,” he said.
That will help the next city administrator to adjust future pay raises with less budgetary stress, he added.
•Officers will see a pay adjustment from $15.39 an hour to $16.32/hour. The pay has been adjusted from the new-hire level through the chief to maintain an equitable pay structure.
•All employees are hired with a six-month probationary period during which they receive the base pay of $16.32/hour for officers. At the end of the probationary period, with satisfactory completion, the officer would increase to $16.81.
•On or about an officer’s one-year anniversary, again with satisfactory completion, the officer would increase to $17.32/hour.
•A new officer will start at $33,950.96 and raise to $36,018.58 after one year.
“This would allow the city to be more competitive in the market with incremental improvements in the future,” Van Dee said.
•Starting wage of $14.49 an hour, up from the current $12.88 an hour. There would be regular increases based on tenure and time in service.
Public Works Departments
•Six employees will be impacted by the change which calls for the starting wage to increase from $12.36 to $13.51 an hour. New hires will move to $14.33 after a six-month probationary period. In the current plan, an employee would take four years before reaching that threshold. The adjustment is limited to mostly recently hired employees since upper-level employees were adjusted upward in January 2021.
“All of these changes have been incorporated into the proposed budget amendment and the financial impact has been discussed with the Budget Committee, and they expressed their support,” Van Dee said.