ANDERSON – The superintendent of the city’s water utility received almost $21,000 in a pay increase after submitting a letter of resignation last year. The salary bump came as officials tried to stabilize the operation of the city department, officials said.
Currently, Anderson residents are facing a 47 increase in water rates. The hike is to be discussed at tonight’s Anderson City Council meeting.
City officials said Tuesday that Tom Brewer, superintendent of the Anderson Water Utility, submitted a letter of resignation last year to explore other lucrative opportunities.
Pete Heuer, chairman of the Anderson Board of Public Works, said Brewer rescinded his letter of resignation after negotiations with the city.
Brewer’s salary increased from $72,970 in 2013 to $93,700 in 2014, a 28 percent pay increase.
“We decided to keep his 30-plus years of experience,” Heuer said. “The compensation was set at the midpoint of what his peers are receiving.”
Heuer said the goal of the administration of Mayor Kevin Smith was to stabilize the operations of the water utility, something that would have proven difficult if Brewer left.
Wayne Huffman, director of human resources, said the city was faced with a problem with supervision at the water plant.
Brewer is certified by the state to operate the water utility.
“Our concern was losing Tom Brewer,” Huffman said. “There were not enough people with the certification by the state. We have been working aggressively toward increasing the number of people with the state certification.”
Since Smith took office in 2012 another five people working at the water utility have received the necessary certification and are now obtaining the three years of experience required under state guidelines.
“The dilemma was losing Tom (Brewer),” Huffman said. “It would have been a monumental task to replace him.”
Huffman said the city could have hired another superintendent with the necessary state certifications.