Grandview's mayor and council members will get a pay bump in 2016 after this week's vote.
Grandview City Council voted 5-2 on Monday, Nov. 4, to increase the salary of council members and president from $250 and $300 a month, respectively, to equal pay of $600 a month, starting in 2016. All council members will receive $7,200 annually.
Council turned down the original proposal of $1,000 a month payment for a $12,000 salary. The amended amount of $600 a month was recommended by planning and administration committee Chairwoman P'Elizabeth Koelker.
Despite the decrease from the first proposal, Councilman Ed Hastie voted against the salary increase, saying council members are fairly compensated for the work they do.
"There is a sincere public-service element to what we do," Hastie said. "When I first decided to run, I literally had no idea we were even paid. I applied for a 'job' that I would gladly do for free."
Councilman Steve Gladman also voted "no" on the ordinance.
Council also voted 5-2 to increase the mayor's salary in increments between Jan. 1, 2016, and Jan. 1, 2019. The salary will increase by $1,100 each year, 2016-18, and by $1,200 in 2019, resulting in an overall salary increase from $36,000 to $40,500.
Mayor Ray DeGraw's current salary is $30,000. His salary will increase to $33,000 on Jan. 1, and to $36,000 on Jan. 1, 2015, based on the schedule approved by council in 2010.
DeGraw won re-election in 2011. The next mayoral election will take place in 2015.
The mayor will be considered a permanent part-time, 75 percent employee, solely for purposes relative to health insurance, according to the ordinance approved Nov. 4. The mayor will have the option to participate in the city's group medical insurance plan.
Wyman Woods update
Also at this week's meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Sean Robey updated council on approved renovations for Wyman Woods Park. The department will open up for bidding for the estimated $1.5 million construction project, Robey said.
"We think it is a conservative number," he said.
A $100,000 donation from W. W. Williams Co. and park bonds will help fund the construction.
Recent renovations at Pierce Field cost about $1.1 million and the project is near completion, Robey said. Wyman Woods construction will begin in the spring and is anticipated to be completed by fall 2014, weather permitting, he said.
The park will have a renovated shelter house with a steel roof, new siding, a kitchenette, a small covered outside shelter area and banquet-size tables, Robey said.
Additionally, the park will feature a new pathway, improvements to field grading to create a multipurpose field, an additional 15 parking spots, and a natural-looking playground close to the shelter house, he said.
"We're real excited about the Pierce Field project," Robey said. "We are looking forward to having similar results at Wyman Woods."
Robey added that the playground would highlight some unusual equipment, thanks to comments from residents during a public hearing.
"It incorporates things like faux boulders for climbing, rope climbers, a faux tree trunk to use as a balance beam, and the slides are built into the hillside," Robey said. "Even though it won't be higher on the ground, I think it will give the sensation of it being higher because of the hillside."
Grandview Yard plans
Grandview Yard is in the third phase of its development and is on schedule to be finished in May 2014, reported Patrik Bowman, director of administration economic development, during this week's council meeting.
This includes laying concrete on Bobcat Avenue, sewer-line development and utility work, Bowman said.
The next phase will include more landscaping work, Bowman said.