Clayton Town Council unanimously approved the new three-year police contract Monday night that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The town's Police Committee had previously fleshed out the details in committee meetings, Councilman Dave Letterman said.

Chief Brian Hill said the contract includes very few changes from the current contract.

The new contract includes step increases within ranks that will occur when an officer has two years of service within the rank. A member of the town's Personnel Committee will sit in on the discussions to promote officers.

Letterman explained that council agreed to the step increases because the town's longevity scale had been capped at $2,500, so council hopes the promotions will keep officers in Clayton.

"We hope this will give the officers some motivation to stick around," Letterman said.

The terms of the contract require maintaining a minimum staffing requirement of seven patrol officers and one school resource officer, which the department is currently at. The school resource officer's pay is subsidized by the Smyrna School District and Providence Creek Academy.

The officers will receive a two percent pay increase each year unless the town decides to give a cost of living increase to town employees.

"Any modifications to the contract have to be agreed upon by both parties," Hill said.

Town ordinance amended

Council approved the second and final reading of an amendment that will change the Town Ordinance's section on the waiving of late fees to mirror what's in the Electric Ordinance.

The paragraph on late payment charges in the Electric Ordinance and Town Ordinance will both read as follows: "If payment for bills rendered is not received by the town by the 20th of the month, a late payment charge shall be added to the amount due for each metered account. The amount of the late payment charge is listed in the Schedule of Fees and Charges. Payments shall be credited against the most delinquent charges. If the customer requests an exception to the fee, the appeal must be made to the mayor and council. However, the late payment penalty may be waived only if the customer has not been delinquent during the past twelve months. The late payment charge will not be applied to balances which are under dispute provided all other amounts not in dispute are paid when due."

Fall yard sale

The Town of Clayton's fall community yard sale will be on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Water Quality Award

Councilwoman Mary Ellen DeBenedictis announced the Clayton Water Department had received the 2011 Water Fluoridation Quality Award, which is given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to public water systems that adjust and maintain a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water for 12 consecutive months.

DeBenedictis read aloud a letter written by Delaware's Division of Public Health Director Karyl T. Rattay, who congratulated Town Foreman Jeff Hurlock on the award. Rattay wrote that water fluoridation is an important step towards preventing and controlling tooth decay, and that the town's consistent maintenance of water fluoridated at optimal levels improves and protects the oral health of Delaware residents.

Hurlock said congratulations should be geared towards employee Gary Faulkner, who is one of three water operators but is the main individual who keeps an eye on the water system.

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