City workers in Brookings receiving $1,400 bonuses

Sales tax totals far above expectations reason for generosity

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BROOKINGS — Christmas is coming early for full-time city employees in the form of a $1,400 bonus that’s expected to be paid out by the end of the month.

The $203,000 impact on the city’s budget will not be an issue, since the bonus — formally known as a “sales tax incentive” — comes from sales tax revenues in excess of the 2% increase budgeted by the city for 2023.

“Sales tax has exceeded projections and met the threshold,” City Manager Paul Briseno told councilors at Tuesday night’s Brookings City Council meeting. “The October reporting sales tax was 14.5% above budget. Increased sales tax revenues are more than sufficient to offset the $203,000 impact to the budget.”

The bonus, contained within Ordinance 23-041, was approved on a 7-0 vote. All full-time employees who were working as of the first business day in October will get the bonus money.

In other business on Tuesday:

• Bridges and culverts in Brookings are looking pretty good, for the most part. That’s according to a presentation from Chris Brozik of Civil Design Inc. The firm inspected five city-owned structures this past summer — four bridges and one box culvert.

“Overall, no major changes in structure integrity this year,” Brozik said.

He noted one exception, though: The box culvert on Western Avenue near GCC Ready Mix.

“That has had enough deterioration over the years … that was constructed in 1932, so it’s stood the test of time (and) it’s getting to that point where the deterioration is to a point where we need to start looking at plans for future replacement of that structure,” he said.

Brozik noted that the city engineering department is already several years into planning the box culvert’s replacement. In the meantime, though, the structure is now in poor condition but is still safe for legal loads.

“We want to try to plan for replacement before it gets to the point where we have to have a load posting on Western Avenue,” Brozik said.

• On a 7-0 vote, approved a city attorney legal services agreement with Steven Britzman for 2024.

The contract is for $113,634.60 and an hourly rate of $189.39 for litigation or substantial recodification, per city documentation. Additionally, $4,000 is budgeted for membership and professional training. A section was added in 2023 setting forth compensation reimbursement for fees when services exceed 50 hours per month up to 70 hours. This rate is agreed to be at $200 an hour.

The next City Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Brookings City & County Government Center, 520 Third St.

— Contact Mondell Keck at mkeck@brookingsregister.com.