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Commission approves salary increase for sheriff's, state's attorney offices

The Stutsman County Commission met Tuesday, July 5.

JSSP Stutsman County News
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JAMESTOWN – The Stutsman County Commission unanimously approved grade changes and salary increases for employees in the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office and the state’s attorney’s office.

The current changes will be effective July 1, 2022.

Personnel affected by the grade and salary increases in the Sheriff’s Office include the major/deputy, sergeant deputy sheriff and deputy sheriffs I, II and III. The deputy sheriff I position is currently vacant.

The new grade increases for the Sheriff's Office positions are: deputy sheriff I, 11 to 12; deputy sheriff II, 12 to 13; deputy sheriff III, 13 to 14; sergeant deputy sheriff, 15 to 16; and major/deputy, 16 to 17.

The salary increases for the Sheriff's Office positions ranged from about 4.7% to 5.1%.

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Commissioner Joan Morris said at the county commission meeting Tuesday, July 6, she wants to do a little more research about the grade and salary increases for the sheriff and chief deputy positions.

Personnel affected by the grade and salary increases in the state’s attorney’s office include assistant state’s attorney I and II. The assistant state’s attorney II position is currently unfilled.

The new grade increases for the state's attorney's office are: assistant state's attorney I, 18 to 20; and assistant state's attorney II, 20 to 22.

The salary increases for the state's attorney's office positions are about 10.1% to 15.4%.

Morris said the project to increase the grades and salaries for multiple positions in each department started because it is difficult to hire employees in the two departments.

Shannon Davis, county human resource director, said the grade changes and salary increases put Stutsman County in a more competitive position to recruit and retain employees for the two departments.

MORE STORIES RELATED STUTSMAN COUNTY COMMISSION:
The bid for constructing a 150-by-60-foot storage building expired Friday, Aug. 5.

Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said the grade changes and salary increases for the entry-level positions are in line with the Jamestown Police Department.

“We are now right with them where before we were way down,” he said. “As long as we maintain that whatever the COLA (cost of living adjustment) is and as long as they are stepping (getting step raises), if that goes true and then we are maintaining. What happens is if you don’t get a COLA, you don’t get a step, everybody drops then we start bunching.”

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Stutsman County State’s Attorney Fritz Fremgen said his office has lost personnel to Cass County. He said the county is in a “bidding war” with his office’s employees.

“I’m happy to see what the recommendation is,” he said. “I support it, it’s a good change, it’s a healthy change.”

The county commission could act on the grade changes and salary increases for the sheriff, chief deputy and state’s attorney at its next meeting July 19.

Kaiser told the commission that he toured the Ringdahl EMS ambulance garage to see if the Sheriff’s Office vehicles could be stored in the building. He said the cost of the building is about $870,000.

He said he’s not sure if all the Sheriff’s Office’s vehicles can fit in the building.

The commission took no action on Kaiser’s update.

Kaiser previously told the commission that a heated storage building is needed for the Sheriff’s Office’s equipment. The Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office rents a portion of the North Dakota National Guard’s maintenance shop.

The Sheriff’s Office received bids in June for a 150-by-60-foot storage building from Hillerud Construction Inc. and Roers Construction.

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The total base bid from Hillerud Construction Inc. came in at more than $1.2 million and included a deductive alternative for over $29,400, which would put the base bid just shy of $1.2 million.

The total base bid Roers Construction came in at more than $1.7 million and included a deductive alternative of $80,000, which would put the base bid over $1.6 million.

Kaiser said the bids are good until early August.

In other business, the county commission unanimously approved:

  • the purchase of Kenwood radios for the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office. The purchase includes 24 portable radios, 16 split mobile radios, three handheld mobile radios and two unit chargers for a total of almost $159,000. Kaiser said the Sheriff’s Office will receive a payback of $64,500, which will bring the total cost of the Kenwood equipment down to about $94,400. 
  • a short-term loan of about $117,000 to St. Paul Township. Guthmiller Excavating completed a grade-raise project on 38th Street Southeast to get a township road built up out of the water. Tom Kleven, township chairman, said the township needs to pay the Guthmiller Excavating $98,000 and Interstate Engineering about $19,000 before it receives $117,000 from the state that will be used to pay back the loan. 
Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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