WILLIAMSTOWN - City council agreed to consider increasing the pay scale for city police officers following a request from the police chief during the meeting Tuesday.
Williamstown Police Chief B.D. Adkins told council that since one officer joined the U.S. Army and two others have been out sick for an extended period of time, the department is short and those left are working extra shifts to cover the time.
"We are having trouble getting applicants because our pay scale is not enough," Adkins told council. "I figured if we could get our pay scale higher, we might be able to hire someone."
Photo by Jolene Craig
Williamstown Police Chief B.D. Adkins requests council look into raising the pay scale for the city police officers because the pay is so low the city is having trouble hiring officers.
Mayor Jean Ford said she and Adkins have spoken with several qualified people who are interested in the position but changed their minds when they found out the pay.
"You can't blame them," she said. "If they will make more working in another department in the area, why wouldn't they take the better-paying job."
Councilman Marty Seufer asked Adkins to put together what he would like to see as the pay scale and how much it will cost the city over time so it can be put up against the city's budget.
"We need to know what we're up against," Seufer said.
The city allows for five police officers on its payroll.
"I don't think we can be too concerned about money when these people risk their lives for our safety," Ford said.
In other business:
* City Attorney Blaine Myers discussed publishing the bid specifications for the codification of city code as the city ordinances have not been codified for more than 30 years.
"We have talked about this for a while and I indicated that over the holidays I would be working on the bid specs," Myers said. "The idea is to get all of our ordinances out there so people can look at them if they have questions."
The bid specs include getting the city ordinances together as well as reviewing them for conflicts with state law and other possible issues.
"I expect it to be expensive, but I think it is well worth it," Myers said.
Ford said the city has needed this work done for a long time because the book of codified ordinances she received when she became mayor is dated 1976.
"Whoever takes this on will have a lot of work to do," she said.
Myers and Ford agreed they expect this work to be expensive. The city has set aside $11,000 in the budget for this, but the mayor said the work may surpass that.
"I would not be surprised if it is $20,000," she said.
Myers said the city needs someone who has done this work before and he knows of at least one company in West Virginia that specializes in it.
The publication will be done for the March 5 meeting with the bid openings set for April 2.