POLAND — The Select Board took steps Tuesday to implement an equitable pay system for town employees.

Town Manager Matt Garside said if the town approved an across-the-board wage hike of $206,000 in one year, as proposed in a study by HR Maine Consulting, property taxes for a home assessed at $150,000 would increase by $38.

The town approved the study earlier this year to see how it compares with area communities.

Betsy Oulton from the consulting firm presented the results at the Oct. 5 board meeting. She said the disparity between Poland and other communities stems from the town not providing an annual cost-of-living increase and some town officials doing more than what’s in their job description.

The board accepted Chairperson Stephen Robinson’s suggestion to produce a spreadsheet showing the current rate of pay for each job, what the proposed pay is in the study, and the percent increase between the two numbers. The board would then decide what group of employees or positions required the most immediate attention.

The board would prefer to spread wage increases over time, begin cost-of-living increases annually and implement a policy for that.

There are 28 full-time employees. The study proposes various pay raises for various positions, which was one of the reasons Robinson was asking for a spreadsheet.

The discussion on the wage study will continue at the Nov. 2 meeting and Garside hopes budget  committee members would participate. That meeting will be via Zoom because it’s Election Day.

In other business, Garside clarified questions on the use of extra sewer bond money, since the contract awarded to Pratt & Sons of Minot was for $2.7 million and the bond approved by voters in August 2020 was for $4.8 million.

The contract is to extend the sewer line north on state Route 26 from Top Gun across the causeway to Cyndi’s Dockside restaurant.

Garside said the town cannot repay the eight-year bond early.

The board approved buying a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe special service vehicle for the Poland Fire and Rescue chief for $46,897.50 from DeNooyer Chevrolet in Albany, New York.

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