When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved two proposals that were pitched to them last week — a new pay structure for police officers and a sidewalk cost-sharing program.
The new pay structure was proposed as a way to help retain police officers. Police Chief Pat Kitchens said the new system will place more of an emphasis on training, experience and performance.
The new system creates a step system for police officers, detectives and sergeants. Movement to a new step will result in a 7.5 percent salary increase.
Kitchens said the system will be implemented next year. The cost for making the transition next year will be $93,000. Kitchens said this will be paid for by freezing two vacant police officer positions.
“And that would accommodate the transition in 2013,” he said.
But Kitchens said the program will continue to have to be funded each year. The cost in 2014 when the program has been fully implemented will be $160,00.
Commissioners unanimously approved the new pay structure.
The sidewalk cost-sharing program will pay 100 percent of the cost of repairs or replacement of sidewalks adjacent to commercial properties that are undergoing major improvements.
Under the program, the city will provide reimbursement for 100 percent of the cost of the repairs or at a rate of $5 per square foot, whichever is less.
The sidewalks being repaired must be in poor condition.
And in order to qualify, an applicant must be making an investment in a commercial building that equals at least 25 percent of the value of the property. City staff initially recommended a threshold of 50 percent of a building’s value. But it was lowered to 25 percent following a discussion with commissioners last week.
The program was approved Tuesday by a unanimous vote.
The city will continue to offer an existing program that pays 50 percent of the cost of sidewalk repairs. That program is open to business owners as well as homeowners.