New plan levels the paying field
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County commissioners on Monday approved a new compensation plan that officials say will make job titles across county departments more objective and more consistent with each other. Before the new compensation plan, employees who worked for different elected officials and in some other county departments could do comparable work, but receive significantly varied salaries, said Commissioner Larry McCown. The move by the commissioners on Monday is the culmination of work that began last year, McCown said.”Hopefully it is a significant step for human resources and elected officials,” McCown said.The new compensation plan would bump the county’s current payroll of $15,607,391 to $16,231,959, which includes merit pay increases.The county’s human resources department was charged with designing the 2008 compensation plan, including creating new pay structures and instituting performance merit pay recommendations.”It is the intent of Garfield County to administer pay in a manner designed to attract, motivate and retain highly qualified personnel,” according to the county’s new compensation plan. During the process of revamping the compensation plan, county human resources staff performed a job analysis for all jobs and designed updated job descriptions.Katherine Ross, the county’s human resources director, said she hopes her department will have the new plan implemented by the end of February.In other business Monday:• Commissioners agreed to directly consider two applications for special use permits for facilities connected to the natural gas industry in the area, without first requiring Planning Commission review.Chevron is seeking a permit for a central production facility and temporary storage area on a 4.7-acre site about 2.5 miles past the end of County Road 211, 12.5 miles north of DeBeque. According to documents submitted to the county, the central production facility is designed to “process raw natural gas coming from the well field for delivery to regional pipelines.”Bill Barrett Corp. is also seeking a permit to utilize an existing water gathering site at a well pad to collect produced water from surrounding gas wells, separate the residual oil and recycle the used water into operations in the field via pipelines, according to county documents. The proposed water gathering site is off County Road 311 about 2.5 miles south of Silt.• Commissioners approved a special use permit for Harry and Rhonda Naugle for an industrial support facility on a 54-acre site west of the Interstate 70 interchange at Rulison. Tri-State Trucking, which is based out of Vernal, Utah, is planning a permanent site to provide services to oil and gas operations in the area, according to county documents. Operations at the site will include truck and trailer maintenance and storage, short-term storage of materials and equipment, and drilling equipment staging. The proposed site will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to county documents. With the commissioners approving the permit, the parcel is expected to be transferred to the ownership of Tri-State Trucking.
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Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras lamented his department’s inability to maintain a constant presence downtown during a virtual public forum Monday night.