Pay Problems in the North Tonawanda Parks Department

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

Park Department Director Alex Domaradzki pleaded with the City to increase the salary of temporary summer workers. Domaradzki says people have already turned down working for the City because of the low pay. The salary for summer workers is $11.10 per hour.

“Whether you are at a park with kids or out in the hot sun with the weed whacker, the pay is the same across the board,” said Domaradzki. “People can make more money working at a fast food place.”

He says two people have already said no to job offers leaving the City scrambling to find workers to maintain the 580 acres of parkland across the Lumber City.

The Department at one time had fourteen full-time workers and are now down to only five. One of which is a mechanic.

“It is frustrating because when machines break down, he is actually pulled from his job as a mechanic and he has been out doing cutting and all that stuff,” said Domaradzki.

That combined with all the soaking rain has made it a tough spring. Another problem is that the City adding amenities to the Parks all the time but not increasing the funding or the staff to maintain those areas.

“We have been asking for a couple of trucks for the past four years,” said Domaradzki. “We just don’t have enough vehicles.”

What’s also frustrating he says is that seasoned summer workers who is coming back year after year are being paid the same as a new person coming in creating tension with workers.

“When it comes to the Parks Department, if you hand in your application, pass the background check and are living and breathing, we will take you,” said Domaradzki.

Domaradzki says he wants to get at least a 50 cent increase in the hopes of getting more seasoned workers to help out at the Parks Department.

 

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