By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer

The Byron Village Council voted during its Monday, Dec. 14, meeting to hire council trustees Tony Prestonise and Hugh Miller as Department of Public Works (DPW) employees. The village has been without a full-time DPW employee since former DPW director Mike Granger retired in September.

Prestonise and Miller will handle the day-to-day operations of the DPW, except for the water and wastewater treatment duties, which were contracted out to Hughes Environmental Services (HES) of Fowlerville in September. The two will work for $12 per hour, as needed to assist the village’s temporary DPW employee Dan Bretzlaff, who was hired in November. Bretzlaff will also be taking an extended vacation in January and February, so the village needed to fill the spots right away.

While Prestonise and Miller will work for $12 per hour, the council decided to amend and re-run their DPW job posting, adding a pay rate boost and an increase in hours. The first posting was made in September with the village offering to pay two workers $12 per hour for a combined 24 hours per week. The amended posting will seek two employees; one working no more than 30 hours per week at $14 per hour; and a second working no more than 15 hours per week at $13 per hour, on an on-call basis. The council discussed the idea of hiring two employees and an on-call employee to help during the presumably snowy winter months, but the group ultimately decided two workers would be all that was needed.

Prestonise and Miller were both required to abstain from voting for themselves, but the council voted to hire both, Miller unanimously and Prestonise by a 4-2 margin.

The discussion eventually progressed into a long-term plan for the department, which includes hiring a person that would be willing to undertake the two-year training to become certified in water and wastewater treatment. Trustee Ron Berecz spoke of the need to replace HES with a more permanent solution, as the company’s $26,000 annual price tag is too expensive to be a long-term solution for the village.

Byron Village Council was last modified: December 21st, 2015 by Karen Elford