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Plans to tear down old Cole County jail and sheriff's house move forward April 16, 2014

Jefferson City Council to decide on floating holidays

The Jefferson City Council is expected to take action Tuesday on a bill that would provide two floating holidays for city employees.

The council, which is meeting Tuesday to accommodate for the Labor Day holiday, has been discussing the concept of floating holidays as a way to compensate city staff in a year where wage increases would not be given. The holidays only would be given to full-time employees and the four part-time employees who have benefits.

The floating holidays were included in City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus’ draft 2014 budget, but were not included in Mayor Eric Struemph’s proposed budget. The cost of providing the holidays to employees is estimated to be $7,500.

The bill is written so the holidays only would be given if the council approves the funding in that budget year, though at a previous budget meeting council members discussed the idea of revising the bill to make the funding kick in automatically if the bill is approved.

In other business, the council also is expected to approve a development agreement with Roar Real Estate 2 and James R. Morris to assist in locating a manufacturing company, which would produce bags for dog food producers, to the area.

The company would locate onto 9.16 acres of a 25-acre tract owned by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce west of Alpla.

The company, which is based in Bloomington, Ill., has not been named by the city or the chamber. However, Morris Packaging is a Bloomington manufacturer and has recently advertised for positions opening in Jefferson City. Morris, the company’s owner, has not returned calls by the News Tribune.

The agreement with the city would have the city and county provide a sanitary sewer system to the property, which is estimated to cost about $16,000. It also calls for an extension of the current Alpla rail spur at the expense of the city and county once the company requests it, as long as its within three years of the agreement.

The company, which would like to be in operation by February 2014, has promised to create at least 20 jobs.

Related to the development agreement, the council is expected to suspend the rules and introduce and act on a bill to authorize a cost share agreement with the county for the project. The city and county have agreed to share the costs evenly, with each entity expected to be responsible for about $8,000 to $10,000. The Cole County Commission is expected to take up the agreement next week.

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