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West Fargo Commission passes its own pay raise

The West Fargo City Commission will be paid more in 2015.

The commission unanimously passed the second reading of an ordinance to increase salaries of commissioners and the mayor on Monday night at its regular meeting.

The mayor’s salary will increase from $11,535 to $15,000, while the four commissions will see a pay increase from $7,688 to $10,200.

“This is the first change in this ordinance since 2007,” City Attorney Sarah Wear said.

Earlier this month, Mayor Rich Mattern said the change was to align salaries closer to those for commission members in the area.

In Fargo, three commission members earn an annual salary of $25,228, not including benefits, and Mayor Dennis Walaker is paid an annual salary of $29,442. Commissioner Tim Mahoney is paid an annual salary of $27,443 for serving as deputy mayor.

In Grand Forks, a city committee recommended in May that City Council members increase salaries by $8,900 to $14,100 per year.

In Moorhead, the eight City Council members earn $10,212 and Mayor Del Rae Williams is paid an annual salary of $19,476. Unlike in Fargo and West Fargo, Williams only votes in tie-breaking situations.

Monday night’s motion was formality after commissioners discussed the issue at its July 7 meeting. The new salaries will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

In other commission business:

E Contractors will begin pouring footings for the City Hall expansion project today.

City Administrator Jim Brownlee said the contractor found the ground wetter than expected this month, which delayed work.

“There are eight wells in there, they are trying to dewater that site,” Brownlee said.

The expansion will create a single level 29,500 square-foot addition to the structure at the present location at 800 4th Ave. E. Underground parking with 42 vehicle spaces is also a part of the plan.

E City Assessor Wanda Wilcox is retiring after 32 years working in city government. Wilcox joined the city of West Fargo in the 1990s. She will retire in September but has said she will help the city transition.

Brownlee said the city will advertise to fill Wilcox’s position.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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