South Russell Village officials have long been in discussions about adjusting the current policies surrounding overtime for employees. Members of the council and other heads of departments have raised a variety of concerns regarding the current policies on overtime, noting that they are not the same for all village employees.

A proposed new policy will change the current standard of overtime from any time worked more than eight hours per day to any time worked more than 40 hours per week.

Fiscal officer Danielle Romanowski advised officials that the 40 hours must be physically worked.

“If you go over 40 hours, it will be overtime but, if someone was on vacation time or sick time, until they reach that period of time [physically worked], it’s not overtime,” Councilman Mike Carroll clarified.

“If you were on vacation Monday and Tuesday and you came in the rest of the week and then you had to stay over on Thursday, that’s straight time,” Ms. Romanowski said. She went on to explain that vacation time and sick time are benefits from the village, so an employee is not entitled to overtime because the hours were not physically worked.

Mr. Carroll noted that the village has been very fair to its employees, having taken on the impact of the rise in healthcare costs with no increase to its workers. “[That is] unheard of across public sector,” he said. “I think the village has been very, very good – excellent, in my opinion – at taking care of its employees over the years.”

“I think we treat our people very well,” Mayor William Koons agreed.

Mr. Carroll emphasized that consistency is important in making the proposed new overtime policies work. “Applying [the policies] equally and consistently has got to be the key. It’s not fair if the police department is doing something different than the service department or the service department is doing better than the police department because that’s where you create the animosity.”

The council has yet to finalize the proposed policy.

In other business, Streets Commissioner Tim Alder reported that the village’s road striping project has been completed with the exception of Countryside Drive, on which there is a 9 foot deep brick manhole. He said efforts were made to fill it but the streets department encountered the issue of earth water mixing with the concrete, preventing it from solidifying.

“There’s too much earth water, not surface water, flowing in for us to put concrete in because it’s just going to turn to soup,” Mr. Alder stated.

“I made some phone calls to see about getting a precast manhole and just removing [the current] one and putting in another one,” he said.

Mr. Alder received a quote from Buckeye Excavating Services for $8,000 in labor costs and told officials that the village would be responsible for purchasing the casting. The cost of the casting materials has not yet been determined. The streets department is actively in discussions with manufacturers. Mr. Alder said the project will be funded by the village’s stormwater account.

The next regular scheduled council meeting is Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

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