Fort Lupton will focus its efforts to keep happy employees on the public works department, City Councilors learned Tuesday.

Human Resources Director Laura Howe told Fort Lupton City Council about three plans to increase salaries (dependent on levels of certificates and experience) in the hopes of keeping employees on the payroll.

The three pieces are paying in-house for state licenses for driving the city’s three dump trucks and two sewer jet trucks, rewarding workers who complete extra work for credentials and changing the rate of pay for on-call hours. Howe said the most urgent funding request – $5,400 – was for the licenses.

“Before Feb. 7, it was part of the on-the-job training,” Howe said. “Now, it’s a three-part, entry-level course at designated training facilities. Now, we have training costs. Most of the people we hire don’t have it but get it within six months. I’d like to pay for this training through our educational assistance program.”

Full-time public works employees who are on call get an extra five hours of pay regardless of whether there is a call. Public Works Director Roy Vestal said the on-call staff member receives extra pay when called out for an emergency. Howe’s proposal is to increase that amount to eight hours at a cost of between $12,000 and $13,000

There are 11 full-time Public Works department employees who are in the rotation. Some take their trucks home with them when they are off the clock. Howe said a recent employee survey showed that the pay was “inadequate” for on-call efforts.

Her suggestion for employees who earn work credentials was an extra dollar per hour per credential.

“We hire people without credentials and are training them,” Howe said. “We want to have more people with certifications. It’s a great model for retention.”

“We benefit from the training,” said Fort Lupton Police Chief John Fryar. “We don’t want to do the training if people are going to leave. This benefits the citizens. They are better off for the investment, and we are better off if they choose to stay.”

“We’re creating a model for the rest of the city for credential pay,” Howe said. “I’m working on a more comprehensive model.”