Public works director tops city salaries

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SHERIDAN — The city of Sheridan, as required by Wyoming state statute, has published a list of gross monthly salaries for its staff in today’s legals section of The Sheridan Press. Chief administrative officials, department heads and city councilors are listed by name and other full-time personnel are listed by position.

Publication of city salaries is required twice per year in January and July.

Public Works Director Nic Bateson remains the highest paid city employee at $9,387.17 monthly for an annual salary of $112,646.04. City of Sheridan Human Resources Director Heather Doke said that is standard pay for similar positions and that the pay grade tops out at $118,000.

Police Chief Richard Adriaens earns $8,971.17 per month, and Fire and Emergency Services Director Terry Lenhart makes $7,166.67.

Firefighters range from $3,947 to $4,569 monthly, and police officers earn between $3,180.67 and $4,493.46. These figures exclude sergeant and captain positions.

Water treatment plant operators earn a monthly salary in the range of $2,770.95 to $4,076.88, depending on years of service and certifications.

Mayor Dave Kinskey makes $4,000, and city councilors make $500 per month.

Doke said salaries are based on surveys that analyze job descriptions and compare them with similar jobs in both the private and public sectors.

The surveys list a pay scale, or average pay range, for each job description based on the current job market. The city then tries to set its salaries within the recommended range.

The city last conducted a salary survey in 2008, in conjunction with Sheridan County, and it is currently in the process of conducting another survey. Doke expects a report by late spring.

“In the next few months, we will present the results of the analysis. They’ll tell us what we need to do, and it’s up to us if we have the money to do it,” Doke said.

By the time the salary survey is complete, the city should know what it will receive from the state as appropriated by the Legislature. At that time, the city will decide what it can afford to pay based on salary recommendations in the report and the current fiscal outlook. Doke noted that the last salary adjustment was in 2008.

“We want the Legislature to be done with what they’re doing so we know what we’re getting from them,” Doke said. “We don’t want to jump into anything we can’t afford to sustain long term.”

The current pay scale for the city is listed in the employee handbook, which can be found on the city’s website at

The highest paid departments in the city are the Public Works department, administration, the water treatment plants and fire and police departments.

Doke said pay scales are based on a number of factors including required education, certification and licensing; management responsibilities; hours and work schedules; job hazards; years of service and more.

For example, the Public Works department is staffed primarily with licensed professional engineers who must complete years of schooling. Several administration positions require college degrees and specialized certifications.

Police officers and firefighters receive higher compensation due to the hazards and 24/7 work schedules of their jobs, which are considered more career-oriented than other positions.

Doke also noted that several city employees, especially in the water and wastewater treatment sectors, have been employed with the city for a long time.

“Our longer term employees, even if they don’t have a degree, if they have certifications and have been here a long time, they are higher up on pay scale,” Doke said.


By |February 4th, 2014|

About the Author:

Hannah Sheely is the digital content editor at The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.