An unexpected exit by the former assistant manager at the Dyersville Aquatic Center was the driving factor behind the closure of the pool over the holiday weekend, staff recently informed the Dyersville City Council.
City Administrator Mick Michel told the council they are still attempting to learn exactly what transpired and will be reaching out to the person, but he confirmed the employee’s absence made staff short-handed enough that the pool had to temporarily close its gates.
“That’s the reason why there was disruption on (July 3-4),” Michel said.
City Clerk Tricia Maiers added the assistant manager did not submit anything in writing or provide a two-week notice, but instead just came to city hall to turn in her keys.
In the meantime, the council has promoted Valerie Knepper to the position of assistant manager and Elizabeth Wessel to head lifeguard.
Dyersville, like many other communities across the state, has faced staffing challenges in the post-COVID-19 era, and with school starting a little earlier this year, Maiers said the pool will close Aug. 15.
“We’re struggling right now to keep it afloat and, believe me, come August they’re out of here,” Maiers said of the seasonal employees.
The council also agreed to provide several city employees with a 2% raise while the planning and administration committee dissects a newly-released compensation study.
“In the interim, the committee felt it was necessary to not delay a 2% wage increase for non-employment agreement individuals that work for us,” Michel said.
The wage increase resolution included both salaried and non-salaried employees: Molly Dupont (assistant police chief) $71,399, Tim Herbers (public works laborer) $22.78, Michael Lansing (wastewater operator) $27.45, Michael Maahs (public works street foreman) $23.90, Tricia Maiers (city clerk/treasurer) $70,890, Gavin Nadermann (parks and rec director) $44,570, Lori Panton (deputy clerk) $21.55, Kevin Rausch (public works laborer) $22.78, Terry Recker (water operator) $26.53, Joseph Reicher (public works laborer) $25.49, Cory Tuegel (police officer) $32.64, Valerie Knepper (aquatic center assistant manager) $11, Elizabeth Wessel (head lifeguard) $9.75 and Sandra Oberbroeckling (administrative assistant) $14.86.
The pricing guidelines for utility meters will also now more accurately reflect the city’s actual cost after the council agreed to amend its ordinance.
Michel said meters are typically purchased in bulk from a vendor every year, but due to the ordinance that defines exactly how much to charge customers previously on the books, the city was losing around $100 on each meter.
Previously, the council had a set price for meters regardless of their actual cost, but now the meters will be assessed based on the supplier’s price plus a 10% administrative fee.