CLOVERDALE -- There are major changes underway at the utility department. To help the office run more efficiently, a new software program is being installed. It is also losing one of its own to retirement this month.
During its meeting last month, Town Council approved the purchase of Keystone Software for the utility office. The $30,000 software is replacing Computrol and promises to be more time efficient.
The utility department will be closed March 18 due to the software change over. Payroll will not go live with Keystone until approximately the third quarter in July. In April, water bills will be done through the new software and reflect the new rates.
After 33 years of employment with the water department, utility clerk Myrna Sutherlin will be retiring. The soon-to-be open position caused some debate during the February Town Council meeting.
Clerk treasurer Patti Truax recommended to the council Elaine Campbell, the current deputy clerk, be moved into the position. Given Sutherlin's more than three decades of employment, the pay scale would have given Campbell more than a $15,000 per year pay raise.
The council voted to amend the utility clerk's salary range to $25,000 to $30,000 per year, as stated in Ordinance 2009-3. The amended salary ordinance was officially passed in Tuesday night's regular town council meeting.
Although the new Keystone software will eventually cut the utility clerk's duties in half, a third person is still needed in the office.
Debate over whether or not to hire a full-time or part-time employee to replace Sutherlin ended in council unanimously voting to advertise for a full-time utility clerk.
Campbell was told she could apply for the utility clerk position, which would be a step higher for her. Should she receive the job, the deputy clerk's position will be open for applications.
To help Sutherlin celebrate her retirement, a reception has been planned in her honor. It will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. March 27 at town hall.
The public is invited to help commemorate Sutherlin's 33 years of service.