City seeking volunteers

The city of Abilene is again looking for volunteers.

Recently volunteers were needed to fill vacancies on boards and commissions.

This time individuals are needed for a short-term seat on the Abilene City Commission and those willing to help with fall cleanup, it was reported at the commission’s study session Monday.

With the resignation of Sharon Petersen, the city will be accepting statements of interest through noon, Friday, Aug. 30. The applications can be picked up at city hall, 419 N. Broadway or submitted by email to

The position runs until early January 2020 when the elected commissioners are sworn in.

“We can’t fill that with someone that is running for the commission,” Foltz said.

Seeking reelection in November are Timothy Shafer and Dee Marshall. Also seeking the office are Phil Hamilton, Brandon Rein and William Hane.

Interim City Manager Jane Foltz said the commissioners can review the applicants at the Sept. 3 study session. An appointment could be made at the Sept. 9 meeting.

The commission has 60 days after Aug. 12 to fill the position.

Fall You Haul

A community clean up is being planned for September.

Public Works Director Lon Schrader said a change from last year’s Make a Difference Week is to have trash containers monitored inside the former city landfill on South Cherry Street available to residents.

“We will not be picking up on the side of the road any more,” Foltz said.

In the past residents would place accepted trash along the side streets and city crew would pick it up.

That presented an issue with liability and cost.

Schrader said the plan this year is to have the trash dumpsters monitored by city officials from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and free to residents.

Dumping tires, household hazardous waste such as paints and solvents, asbestos, electronic devices and household trash in the dumpsters will not be allowed.

“This would not tie up our entire crew and equipment for a week,” he said.

“Taking that many people out of work is very detrimental to the day-to-day business,” Foltz said.

Cost to the city is estimated between $5,000 and $7,000.

Commissioner Chris Ostermann said many residents don’t have trucks and a way to haul the unwanted material to the old landfill.

Commissioner Dee Marshall suggested volunteers with churches or organizations might chip in to help.

“If you don’t have a way to haul, maybe your neighbor can help,” Foltz said.

There are also no plans for the organized efforts by volunteers to clean up certain areas of the city like last year’s Make a Difference Week.

Salary study

The commission is looking to contract with The Austin Peters Group, Overland Park, for a Comprehensive Pay & Classification Study.

Cost for the 19-week study is estimated at $22,750.

The group would include three years of maintenance for questions, reevaluation of positions, Beth Tatarko, vice president, told commissioners.

This proposal covers a total of 64 positions including full-time, part-time and elected positions, including the 10 at the Abilene Public Library.

The proposal includes a job classification and compensation study for different pay grades focusing on internal and external equity, providing comments on job descriptions, policy development to address current challenges and financial impact of recommendations.

The last time the salary study was conducted was in 2009 which took two years to implement.

Contact Tim Horan at

Contact Tim Horan at

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