Spring Lake Village Council gave its thumbs up this week to a trial period, which will begin March 1 and end June 30 with the expiration of the village's fiscal year. The Spring Lake Township Board approved the measure last week.
The village will save $5,600 during the trial period by slicing Belknap's village work hours from 40 to 32, Village Manager Chris Burns said. Belknap will spend eight hours each week on township business at a rate of $42 per hour, including benefits.
The township will pay the village $6,400 for the 19-week trial period, Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said.
Gallagher was part of the interview committee that selected Belknap for the village job. Belknap previously worked with Burns when she was city manager of Cedar Springs.
During the trial run, Belknap will report to the township's public works director, Ron Brondyke.
Gallagher said Brondkye is expected to retire in the next few years. However, Brondyke said last week he has no firm idea of when he might retire.
If the trial period goes well for both municipalities, Burns said township and village officials would sign a contract for a 50/50 split of Belknap's time, beginning July 1.
Burns said a more permanent sharing of Belknap's hours would save the village $44,000 over the next fiscal year. She said the village would hire another part-time public works employee for $11,000 a year to work 19 hours a week. When employees work 19 hours or less, the village does not pay for health insurance or vacation time, Burns said.
Village Councilman Scott VanStrate expressed concern that the village's public works staff would not be as effective without a full-time director.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.