FARMINGTON — Selectmen have increased the Parks and Recreation Department director’s salary by $1,617 to comply with a new federal rule that increases the annual salary threshold to be exempt from overtime pay.

The board also voted to increase weekend burial fees to help offset overtime pay for the town’s cemetery sexton because of the change in the overtime rule, which takes effect Dec. 1, Town Manager Richard Davis said Wednesday.

Two department head positions, Matt Foster, director of Parks and Recreation, and Edwin Vining, cemetery sexton, would be affected by the new overtime rule under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Davis said.

The act provides an exemption to overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative and professional employees’ duties and the level of their compensation based on the nature of their duties.

The existing annual salary threshold for overtime exemption is $23,660 for those positions. On Dec. 1, the threshold increases to $47,476.

That means the town will be required to pay overtime to any salaried department head earning less than $47,476, Davis said.

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Foster’s current salary is $45,859. The board increased his salary by $1,617 so it would meet the new threshold and remain exempt from overtime pay, Davis said.

The alternative would have been to pay him overtime for hours worked in excess of 40. An estimated average of five hours of overtime per week would cost the town $8,600, Davis said.

In Vining’s case, his annual salary is $28,831.46, or $10.02 an hour. Since it would not be possible to increase his salary to the new threshold, the best alternative was to pay overtime at $15.03 per hour for any hours over 40 that he worked, Davis said.

Since Vining’s overtime is largely weekend burials, the effect on the cemetery budget should be somewhat limited, Davis said.

In an attempt to offset some of the increases, selectmen voted to increase weekend burial fees by $50 for cremations and infants to make it $300, and by $25 for full-size burials to make it $600, Davis said.

The price changes are effective immediately.

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