The Stansbury Park Service Agency board unanimously approved a $1.25 million budget for 2016 at its meeting Wednesday night but not before a debate about a proposed 8 percent pay increase for its employees.
Service agency board members were uncomfortable with the proposed salary increase without creating a formalized pay scale that would put its employees on par with other county municipalities.
The $1.25 million budget represents an increase of $243,362 over the adopted 2015 budget.
Stansbury Park Service Agency manager Randall Jones said the 8 percent raise was a first step toward getting the service agency employees on more equal footing with similar entities.
Board member Rod Thompson said the service agency should develop pay ranges and figure out how experience should factor in. A more comprehensive pay scale would make things easier to budget in the future, he said.
“That was my intent, to get them into a comfortable range and then create the pay scale,” Jones said. “We keep having so much turnover that suddenly the starting point is different now again.”
Due to turnover, the total full-time salary line in the budget, $176,000, would only be $3,000 more than the 2015 budget due to lower initial salaries. While individual salaries would rise by 8 percent, the total budget for salaries would rise about 1.7 percent.
The board settled on a four-percent raise for employees effective Jan. 1 while the board completes a study of pay scale for its employees. Once the pay scale is established, salaries could be adjusted to match the new ranges identified in the study.
Seasonal and part-time employee salaries will jump $50,000 under the new budget as a result of hiring three new employees. The increase would be partly offset by the service agency doing scheduling and management for the Stansbury Park Clubhouse in-house.
With the approved budget, there will be no tax increase for Stansbury Park residents.
Other cost increases include $81,000 in water costs, a jump from $35,000 in 2015. The service agency will be charged $.45 per 1,000 gallons next year, as opposed to $.15 per 1,000 gallons after the Stansbury Park Improvement District raised its rates.
Maintenance projects also come to the forefront in the 2016 budget, with $396,000 earmarked between the general and capital improvement funds.
The maintenance projects include $60,000 for creating softball diamonds at Parkview Park and $60,000 to replace the lining of a pond at the 10th fairway on the golf course.
At the meeting, the service agency board also amended its 2015 budget to reflect a $26,632 increase in the general property tax due to new growth since the beginning of the year and a $400,000 transfer from the reserve fund to the capital improvement fund.
The reserve fund transfer was required to pay for numerous projects the service agency completed during the year after the budget was approved, including the $170,000 shoreline restoration project.