Broken Bow Mayor & City Council Will Receive Wage Increase for First Time in 5+ Years

Broken Bow Mayor & City Council Will Receive Wage Increase for First Time in 5+ Years
City Administrator Dan Knoell addresses the Broken Bow City Council on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

BROKEN BOW—The Broken Bow City Council convened on Tuesday, May 10 at the Broken Bow Public Library for its regular meeting. Appearing for the second time on the agenda was a public hearing regarding Ordinance 1260 to amend the mayor and city council wages.

Concerns expressed by councilman Larry Miller at the April 26 meeting cited the public needing to give input to the council increasing their own wages. City Administrator Dan Knoell said it had been approximately six years since the last mayor wage increase and 8 to 10 years since the last council member wage increase.

Knoell said no concerns were brought to the city offices except clarification that the wage increases apply yearly, not monthly.

“One thing to be very clear it’s not monthly, it’s yearly,” Knoell said.

In the discussion, it was brought up that the county supervisors’ salaries are more than $26,061.54 annually with the option of insurance plus quarterly reimbursements.

The council voted to waive the two readings of Ordinance 1260 in a 3 to 1 vote with councilman Miller voting “no.” The ordinance was approved as was Ordinance 1261 (in the same 3 to 1 vote) which will reflect the wage amendments.

The ordinance will increase the mayor’s wages from $6,000 to $7,500 per year and council member wages from $2,100 to $3,500 per year. The increase will take effect following the November 2022 general election. Mayor and council members do not receive insurance benefits from the city.

Sixth grade student Brent Forster attended the May 10 council meeting in an effort to help earn his citizenship in the community merit badge. He stands with Broken Bow Mayor Rod Sonnichsen.

Special recognition to city employees was given at the beginning of the meeting from Dan Knoell. He stated that when he was hired about two years ago the City of Broken Bow was close to a visit from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) due to a high number of accidents/claims.

The council tasked Knoell with addressing safety concerns as a top priority. Knoell said that in the last couple years the safety record has been improving and the city is being reimbursed workman’s comp payments–meaning more money for the city based on a strong safety record following increased safety training and safety practices.

“I feel it is exciting news for the city because of our safety record. I’m extremely proud of the city employees and how they’ve accepted that challenge that you guys have put upon me and they’ve made my job easier by following safety procedures,” Knoell said.

Following a public hearing, the council also voted to approve the Central Nebraska Economic Development District (CNEDD) to fill out an application for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to obtain funds for concrete and infrastructure improvements to the City of Broken Bow. This type of resolution for the pre-application of CDBG Funds has been approved in the past with the CNEDD.

Resolution 2022-6 was approved for the use of KENO funds for the purchase of the 80-foot aluminum flagpole for Paul Brown Field in the amount of $17,150. At the beginning of the council meeting, the approval of the consent agenda was preceded by a concern from Larry Miller regarding the payment of the flagpole before the funds were designated.

Dan Knoell said the flagpole was paid for by the street department with the intent of using the KENO funds to reimburse the street department. KENO funds are to be used for beautification purchases within the city and can only be used to reimburse a line item, according to Knoell.

The meeting adjourned at 6:24 p.m. and the next city council meeting will be on Tuesday, May 24 at 6 p.m. at the Broken Bow Municipal Auditorium.