Federal Judicial Ruling Force Bryan City Council To Rescind FLSA Raises

In keeping with the May 18, 2016, revision of the overtime exemption rule of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Bryan City Council, at their November 21 meeting, agreed to proposed wage increases for three city employees: Assistant Street Commissioner Tim Sands, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Wheeler, and Fire Department Captain Gary Merschdorf. At the December 5 Council meeting, those wage increases were rescinded.

Council acted to rescind the wage increases after Federal Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, less than 24 hours after the Bryan Council decision, ruled that the Department of Labor had no standing to make the revision which would have changed the federal overtime rule, and effectively doubled the FLSA salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476.

In other actions, Council approved Ordinance 48-2016 allowing for the transfer of $500,000 from the One Percent Tax Fund to the General Fund, $40,000 from the One Percent Tax Fund to the Street Department Fund, and $22,010 from the Electric Fund for generator maintenance. Council approved Ordinance 49-2016, agreeing to a proposed contract totaling $165,420 with Anderzack-Pitzen Construction for the Training Range Bridge Project. The bridge spans Lick Creek, just a few feet east of its confluence with Miller Creek, and is the sole route into the fire training area, and further down the road, the law enforcement firing range. Work will not commence until the new structure is on-site, with an estimated time of serviceable replacement of three weeks.

Council approved Ordinance 50-2016, awarding the 2016 Miscellaneous Storm Sewer Project to Bryan Excavating LLC with a bid of $157,203.50. As mentioned in the November 7 Council meeting, the project will entail the replacement of sanitary and storm sewers in the 200 block of North Walnut Street, the addition of storm sewers in the 100 block of West Foster Street, and adding some additional storm sewage on East Wilson Street, near the Industrial Park area. City Engineer Brian Wieland had originally budgeted $200,000 for the project.

In final actions undertaken by Council on the evening, approval was given to Resolution 32-2016, authorizing the advertising for bids for a project that will be known as Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent Disinfection, Grit Removal and Digester Improvements. Bids should be returned for evaluation in mid to late January, 2017, with an estimated project cost of $2.64 million. In accordance with the contract between the City of Bryan and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Council agreed to a pay rate increase for Bryan Police Department Patrol Officer, Tony Plotts, who has recently completed eight years of full time service with the department.

Timothy Kays can be reached at tim@thevillagereporter.com

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