At the November 7 Hopkins City Council meeting, the council decided to start a third checking account to pay part-time employee wages on a weekly basis.

Water Operator Chris Bird thinks it will help him to keep part-time laborers. At this time, most of Bird’s helpers are high school students who work two or three days. He said it was hard for them to wait over a month for a paycheck and so, by paying them weekly, it would allow him to recruit and retain part-time help.

The account will only be used for this purpose. The work week will finish on Thursday, each week, with paychecks being issued on Friday by City Clerk Teddy Phipps. All payroll taxes will be deducted as usual and wages attributed to either the street or water/sewer funds. The checks will be signed Friday by two of the four aldermen or mayor.

Bird will contact the demolition team on the buildings on Third Street to find out the timeline.

He also plans to get the paperwork completed this month for the Barnard Street property. The owner plans to deed the lot to the city in lieu of paying the demolition costs attached to the property’s title. Bird hopes to have this completed by the end of the year.

Maguire Iron, Inc., Sioux Falls, SD, has been refurbishing the water tower for over two weeks. Bird estimates at least two more weeks to finish the project. Hopkins will continue to purchase 100 percent of the city water needs from Public Water Supply District No. 1 until the project is done.

Bird said what he has seen so far, it’s good the city has done the project now. He thinks the city needs to drain the water tower and re-coat it every three to four years. He’s estimating the city has another 20 years of water tower life.

Mayor Matt Wray and Bird planned to interview an individual for the part-time clerk/laborer position, who Phipps hopes could updated the cemetery information which he is estimating could take three to four months of work.

Phipps asked about cost limits to buy cemetery software. Bird asked questions about GPS software which could be used not only for the cemetery but for sewer and waterlines buried in the city. The aldermen decided Phipps ask the cemetery board about the selection of software.

Phipps inquired whether the council wanted to do Regional Media’s community announcements for Christmas. Alderman Randy Beason asked about the cost. Phipps will bring more information.

The analysis of the pay system for the city utilities was again tabled.