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KEYSER, W.Va. — The Keyser City Council voted Wednesday night to approve changes to the city salary structure that Administrator Jeff Broadwater hopes will entice existing employees to stay longer in their roles as well as attract new ones.

Broadwater presented the council with a revised salary scale for approval. Given the recent merger of city police dispatch with the county, Broadwater said those funds will be used to expand the force to 12 full-time officers and one administrative worker. There have also been recent retirements and resignations in the city’s water and streets departments, Broadwater said.

“In addition to the city administrator obviously becoming part time, we’re looking to use some of those savings to increase salaries for some other positions to try to be competitive with the market and retain employees,” Broadwater said.

Broadwater also said he intends to form a committee comprised of himself, city office manager Bonnie Hannas and Councilman Mike Ryan that would be tasked with reviewing salary changes and promotions. In the event the committee fails to reach a unanimous decision, Broadwater said, it would be brought to the council for review.

A retirement bonus for employees who have worked for the city more than 15 years at the rate of $200 per year is also in the works, Broadwater said, as well as a $2,500 signing bonus for new, certified police officers.

“We want to try and recruit as many qualified officers as we possibly can,” Broadwater said.

All members present voted in favor of the change. Councilman Harry “Billy” Meek was not present during Wednesday’s meeting.

“I think the city offers a good opportunity for people looking for a career that want to stay in this area,” Broadwater said. “It’s a good step, and hopefully we can recruit and retain some quality employees.”

The council also voted to adjust the price for different building permits based on the cost of the project. The newly-approved scale is available on the city’s website.

The Keyser City Council meets next on May 26 at 6 p.m.

Lindsay Renner-Wood is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News, covering West Virginia and more. Follow her on Twitter @LindsayRenWood, email lrenner-wood@times-news.com or call 304-639-4403.

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