Employees in the City of Huntingburg could soon see a change in how they get their pay raises.

Last night, the Huntingburg City Council reviewed a proposal for a new system of raises for city employees.

In the current system, employees get a set amount of raise based off of years of experience. Under the new proposed performance-based system, city employees would be eligible for a 1 percent pay raise based on their score on the evaluation that would be done by their supervisor. There would be leeway for that raise to be more than 1 percent, up to the cap rate, which the proposal sets at 2 percent. There would also be leeway for no raise to be given should performance scores not meet the standards. All raises would be reviewed by Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner and the city’s human resources department before being approved.

Spinner says the proposal will be a good thing for city employees:

Spinner says all city supervisors would receive training on the performance evaluations should they be implemented. Employees would retain the right to ask for another performance review after 180 days if they think they are doing better work. However, supervisors would also have the leeway to request a review if they feel that the quality of an employee’s work had worsened over time rather than improved. The proposal will go before the council in ordinance form at a future meeting.

Also last night, the council approved the signing of the contract for the $40,000 planning grant that the city recieved earlier this week from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). The grant will be applied towards studying the area of the city between Jackson and Geiger Streets stretching between 1st and 6th Streets.

Spinner says the signing of the contract with the state is a key step. He also says the ball is in the state’s court for the foreseeable future:

According to Spinner, the focus will largely be on infrastructure, specifically the water line along 4th Street. Public listening sessions will be planned by the city for the future in order to gather public comment.

In other business, the council heard from attorney Phil Schneider concerning the draft of the inter-local agreement for the railroad overpass project. 80 percent of the funding for that project will come from INDOT with the other 20 percent coming from local sources. In the agreement that would be signed between the county and the city, the City of Huntingburg would be the lead agency for the project. The local match portion of the project (which would not exceed $2 million) would be split, with the county providing half of that funding and the city providing the other half. The agreement will be presented to the Dubois County Commissioners at their next meeting.

Finally last night, the council heard a presentation on the Killian House from Forest Park High School senior Madeleine Pelzel. Pelzel, an aspiring architect, presented a plan that she drew up for renovations to be made to the old house.
Pelzel stated in her presentation that the front profile of the house would be among the most important things in her view. She also stated that she wished to incorporate local businesses and students into the project should it go forward. Pelzel’s project was done outside of class work and she is hoping to be able to work with students at Southridge High School through the newly formed Learning Experience in Applied Fields (LEAF) program, which is set to be launched on September 29th at the CTIM building on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus. Pelzel has spent some time in recent months studying architecture through courses at the University of Cincinnati as well as at the University of Texas.