Payroll administrator get one-year pay raise

The Columbus City Council has approved a change to the 2016 city salary ordinance allowing the clerk-treasurer’s office to compensate an employee for overtime hours.

Tammy Keller, the city’s payroll and benefits administrator, will now receive $53,738 in 2016, $5,000 more than the maximum salary approved in the 2016 salary ordinance.

City clerk-treasurer Luann Welmer said the payroll administrator has accrued nearly 240 hours of comp time as she works to help the city transition to a new human resources and payroll system while also completing her day-to-day duties.

Keller likely will not be able to take all of those hours of comp time as vacation time due to her increased workload, so the State Board of Accounts requires the city to compensate her with a salary increase.

The $5,000 increase is a one-time request, Welmer said, and the original maximum salary of $48,573 will be used as a baseline when the council considers the 2017 salary ordinance in the upcoming budget process.

The change to the salary ordinance also included a change in the total number of Columbus Fire Department battalion chiefs from four to three and in the number of firefighters from 60 to 61.

The council also approved a transfer of funds totaling $90,913 within the city’s legal department budget.

Previously the city attorney, which was a full-time position, was paid out of the department’s personnel and supplies funds. However, because the city now uses contracted legal services and has only a part-time attorney, the Department of Local Government Finance requires contract attorneys to be paid out of the “Other services and charges” fund.

The council approved both resolutions unanimously at its Tuesday meeting. A second vote will be taken on the change to the salary ordinance at the April 19 meeting.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.