Council approves contracts

BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council approved contracts for the Police Department and general employees at Tuesday’s meeting.

Councilor Nick Wendell was absent.

Casey Bell, human resources specialist, explained the three-year contract between the city and the Teamsters Local Union No. 120, which represents the city’s general employees.

The current two-year contract will expire on Dec. 31, Bell said. The new contract will cover 2022, 2023, and 2024.

Employees could earn a 1% to 4% pay increase based on performance, Bell said.

Councilor Leah Brink asked how negotiation on the contract happens.

“It probably depends on the item,” Bell said.

City Manager Paul Briseno said each side recommends proposed language, and it is fine-tuned throughout the process.

Brink said the item that prompted her question was the one pertaining to the employees taking time to vote that was struck through, so she “wondered about the process that got us to that point.”

A lot of times the language is in the personnel manual, so it will often be struck from the union agreement, “just to assure that the only thing that’s in the union agreement are things that the union should have discussion on,” Briseno said, adding those items “are still valid,” but they are in the personnel manual.

Bell explained the police department contract, which is also a three-year contract between the city and the Teamster Local Union 120, which represents the police department.

The two-year agreement will expire on Dec. 31, Bell said. The new contract will cover 2022, 2023, and 2024.

Similar to the employees’ agreement, police department employees could earn a 1% to 4% pay increase based on performance, Bell said.

Councilor Joey Collins asked if the language was determined the same way as the previous contract.

For most of it, like benefits, yes it is, Briseno said, with exceptions pertaining to things specific to the police department.

Councilor Holly Tilton Byrne suggested that in the future, for the sake of the council’s clarity, those things should be noted as changed or eliminated.

Progress report

Jacob Meshke, assistant city manager, gave the monthly progress report.

The COVID-19 POD vaccine booster event was Nov. 1-2 at the Swiftel Center, with a total of 1,434 shots provided.

All easements and rights-of-way for the 20th Street South/Interstate 29 interchange have been obtained. Bids were let Nov. 17 and “came in favorably under-budget,” Meshke said.

“We actually just learned today that the bid has been awarded to Bowes Construction, here locally, and they were over $2.5 million under our engineer’s estimate on this project,” Meshke said, adding the project is on track and construction will begin in 2022.

The 15th Street South and Seventh Avenue South road project to extend and intersect the two streets is still ongoing and will be completed in June 2022.

Snow fliers will be placed on vehicles “in strategic areas of the city … where we have seen (snow removal parking ban) ticketing happening in the past,” Meshke said. The educational information will also go out on social media posts, posters and web content.

Nov. 23 was the final date for yard waste collection curbside, Meshke said in the Solid Waste update. After-hours access to Citizens Campus will end Nov. 30 but will be available during normal business hours. The landfill is closed on Saturdays in January and February.

Other topics

The council voted to dissolve the University Community Coalition, which was established in 2016 to identify, investigate, propose, and advocate practices and policies that will improve the well-being of the university-community relationship and the quality of life in Brookings. City records reflect this coalition never met.

The council approved Resolution 21-096, accepting the state Solid Waste Management Program Grant. The city applied for a grant through the state’s Solid Waste Management Program to complete a Solid Waste Master Plan. The city was awarded a 25% grant of the total project cost, for a maximum grant value of $62,000. Resolution 21-096 would accept the grant award. The city has three years to expend the grant funds, according to an attachment to the agenda.

The council approved the Lawn Care and Snow Removal Services one-year contract for the total bid of $84,825 by Razor’s Edge. The engineer’s total estimate was $82,500.

The council approved one-year crop land leases in the Wiese and Freeland Additions for $180 per acre by LNJ Farms, Lyle Bothe; and a one-year airport hay land lease for $91.33 per acre by MC Hay.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]


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