Belgrade city council accepts fire department retirements of nearly a century of experience

The Belgrade city council met in regular session on Monday, December 18 and buttoned up a few items as local governments prepare for the election year that is upon us in 2024.

Beginning on January 1, 2022, the cities of Belgrade and Brooten have banded together in a joint powers agreement that operates the local police department. Prior to that and going back to (about?) 2008, the city of Brooten contracted with the Belgrade police department for police services.

The new joint powers board and the Belgrade-Brooten Police Department that operates under that has utilized the Belgrade city clerk to conduct administrative work such as payroll. Initially, it was thought that they would rotate that every two years between each town's city clerk. After discussion this past fall and taking into account that the police department's office is just next door to Belgrade city hall, the B-B police board decided it will be easiest for all parties if the current arrangement continues for police administrative work.

The Belgrade city council also accepted the retirement of two long-time fire department members: Rick Tschida (48 years) and Bob Dickhoff (50 years); these gentlemen have served the city of Belgrade and the Belgrade area with a tremendous level of care, concern and dedication for local citizens and all who pass through here. While they will be greatly missed on the department, it is worth noting that the Belgrade Fire Department currently has 26 members on its roster.

In other business, the Belgrade city council:

*approved a $1,000 donation to the Belgrade Centennial Memorial Park, which is their standard annual donation.

*approved staff and election judge wages for 2024, with a presidential primary election looming on the horizon in March; regular workers will be paid $12 an hour, and the head judge and the health judge will be paid $15 an hour. The health judge is trained to conduct election-related matters at the Belgrade Nursing Home.

*drafted an Earned Sick and Safe Time policy in accordance with the new state law that went into effect on January 1, 2024; this was set for approval at the January 2 meeting this week. The city clerk will have additional administrative duties related to this law to keep track of not only full-time and part-time city staff but also the 26 fire department members. Once any worker, full-time or part-time, has logged 80 hours of work in a calendar year, they can begin accruing this benefit.

*noted that the second Belgrade city council meeting in January will be held on Tuesday, January 16 at 7 p.m. due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday on the 15th.


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