The Lake Geneva Public Works Department has had difficulty the past few years finding summer help.
But not this year.
City public works director Tom Earle said all five summertime positions have been filled for this year, and an additional four candidates have been placed on a waiting list in case more help is needed.
Earle credits a $2-an-hour pay increase that the city council approved for seasonal employees in December. The pay for seasonal workers was raised from $10 an hour to $12 an hour.
Earle said the pay increase makes the city more competitive with other local employers, including local grocery stores.
“That’s about what Aldi’s and Walmart pay,” he said. “So, we bumped it up to match that, and it worked.”
Most of the seasonal employees are high school students, college students or teachers who are looking for some extra work during the summer. The employees work about 40 hours a week from late May to early October, depending on their availability.
The summer workers help public works crews mow grass, remove weeds and clean restrooms, as well as perform other necessary tasks.
“They do everything we do,” Earle said. “They assist everybody and everything.”
The public works director recently discussed the summer hiring process with the City Council personel committee, and some committee members had other suggestions for improving the process.
The city usually begins advertising and accepting applications for the positions in February. The positions are often posted on the city’s website, and teachers at area high schools inform students about the positions.
Alderwoman Cindy Flower said the city should make advertisements for the summer positions more appealing.
“I read an ad, and the first thing it said was, you have to clean toilets,” Flower said. “And I said, ‘Well, that’s not going to grab too many people.’”