Groveport creates new director position; lifeguards get pay raise

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Groveport City Council has approved replacing the existing public works superintendent job with the new position of public service director

According to city officials, the new public service director position will have an annual salary range of $70,446 to $113,237. The public works superintendent position that is being replaced has an annual salary range of $59,964 to $95,942.

Current, long-time Public Works Superintendent Dennis Moore plans to retire in February and the new public service director position will then be filled.

“Council wants to make the position more of an executive position with requirements for various certifications (such as water operator’s license) and broad based knowledge of all facets of public works (streets, sewer and water),” said Groveport Assistant City Administrator Jeff Green. “This person will work closely with the city engineer and will likely be involved with discussions and/or negotiations with entities like Franklin County and the city of Columbus.”

Green said the public service director job differs from the public works superintendent position in that currently the superintendent reports to the city engineer while the newly created position will report to the city administrator.

“Also, the new position will have greater oversight responsibilities for not only streets, but also operation of the water plant and will need to have, at a minimum, a Class 1 Water Operator’s License,” said Green.

Public service director candidates will also be required to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, environmental science, construction management, or public administration. They will also need at least five years of work in public works responsibilities and three years of public works supervisor experience.

Lifeguard pay upgrades
In an effort to attract more qualified lifeguards to the Groveport Aquatic Center and Groveport Recreation Center, council approved raising the lifeguard position pay grade from 1 to 3. This increases the hourly pay range for new lifeguard hires from $9.23 to $11.13 per hour in grade 1 to $10.78 to $14.05 in grade 3.

Groveport Recreation Director Kyle Lund said that, in the last few years, it has become more difficult to recruit new lifeguards as other area aquatic centers tend to offer higher pay ranges. He also said the city is competing with businesses, such as fast food restaurants, who pay more and tend to hire away young workers who might have become lifeguards.

“We’re comparable now,” said Groveport City Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert of the pay rates when compared to other pools.

Lund said lifeguards play an important role.

“They save lives,” said Lund.

He said the city has employed up to 70 lifeguards during the summer to ensure there is enough staff to cover the indoor and outdoor pools. Also, lifeguards are needed year round for the indoor pool.

“We need that number of lifeguards because many are students and we have to account for their schedules and times of availability because they have academic, athletic, and family vacation demands on their time,” said Lund.

He said many of the lifeguards in the Groveport Recreation Department are from Canal Winchester and Pickerington. But he added he has spoken with Groveport Madison Schools officials who are considering making lifeguard training a physical education credit at the high school.

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