New fire equipment, other asset purchases set in motion
With the fire service assessment finally approved, the city has set into motion the purchase of fire equipment and other capital needs the Cape has.
During Monday’s regular meeting City Hall, City Council unanimously approved the purchase of nearly $1.5 million in fire apparatus, vehicles and other equipment.
The fire department is requesting a new fire truck, which will cost more than half that total, a custom chassis and two smaller customized pickup trucks.
It also seeks fitness equipment, ventilation fans, manikins, generators, a power saw and blades, thermal imaging cameras, radios and a hydraulic rescue, among other things.
The items will be paid for through money collected from the FSA, which was finally approved by the state Supreme Court last month after nearly two years in the court system.
The council was also introduced to a measure that would authorize the issuance of debt obligations of $7 million to finance and purchase new equipment and vehicles. The public hearing date will be July 20.
In other business, consulting firm Segal Waters gave a presentation on job classifications and pay structures for city employees.
The city engaged the firm in February to conduct an analysis of the 342 union and non-union job titles.
Segal Waters found that the majority of city classifications accurately reflected the scope of duties and responsibilities. There were recommended changes to career families that result in a reduction of 40 job classifications, the report states.
In addition, several job families were reviewed and consolidated to fewer levels within their classification series.
They also discovered five classifications of employees to reflect the work they did and put four of them in a higher pay grade, one to a lower one.
They also updated three pay structures (general bargaining, non-bargaining, city attorney’s office), created two new ones (engineering, IT), reassigned classifications and reviewed market data to update pay ranges.
Mayor Marni Sawicki, who had not read the report in full, said she hoped it would help the city in the right direction.
“Hopefully it will put us in the right direction in regards to compensation, allowing us to attract and keep our current and future employees,” Sawicki said.
“You go for eight years without raises and the way the economy went, we’re not paying our employees properly and we need to make sure the numbers are there,” Councilmember Richard Leon said.
In other business, council also appointed Kenneth Scott Pierson to the Budget Review Committee.
The board voted for Pierson over Graham Morris by a 5-3 margin then formally approved Pierson unanimously.
The city also passed an ordinance that defines amplified sound and equipment and regulates the use of amplified sound at special events, free and paid.
Steve Pohlman, Parks & Recreation Department director, said the ordinance helps draw a fine line between those who attend and enjoy special events and those, such as special organizations, who want to engage in protected, non-disruptive First-Amendment speech and assembly.
Pohlman said he would designate one or more areas for the groups to hold their activities, including a place for amplified sound and they will not be allowed to hamper, obstruct, impede or interfere with any person, entity, group or organization hosting a special event, according to the ordinance.
Pohlman brought up a situation when a children’s choir was singing at a Chamber of Commerce event during the holidays and someone chose to interrupt it.
“We don’t wish for that to happen,” Pohlman said. “We will direct those people to an area where they can get their message across.”
Penalties will result in a fine between $100 and $500 and/or imprisonment for up to 60 days.