May 2022

A great question on a topic I am hearing more and more of. Thank you to the Iowa City Manager who sent this in.

QuestionWe have had bad luck keeping a licensed operator here. As a Grade III facility, we have lost multiple operators to larger cities that offered more money. We cannot afford to get into a bidding war and we do not have the background to train and develop the current staff. If we decided to hire a company like PeopleService, what would the cost difference be and what would you do with the current staff?

AnswerAs the heading reads, this is something I am hearing more and more about from city officials throughout the Midwest. This is a big reason we added the “Plan B” section on our website. Concerning cost, I am happy to do a budget analysis highlighting what gets removed and/or reduced from your budget. It is important to go through this exercise because it reveals the total expense when each line item from your budget is totaled up. The end result is that we are going to be very close to what your actual expenses are when everything is factored in. With regards to the current staff, we understand business is about people and water/wastewater operators do not grow on trees, so we are eager to talk with the current staff before fear and uncertainty set in. We will discuss our company culture, wages which are very competitive and benefits. We welcome each employee to apply for the positions and if they pass our pre-employment requirements then they would become PeopleService employees. We would like to do this early in the process, so we know if we had any headcount to fill before the contract starts. We understand the emotional rollercoaster employees, as well as city officials, go through when contract operations are discussed. Fear and uncertainty arise and anxiety sets in, so we really like to put everyone at ease early in the process. I am happy to meet with your city to answer any questions, there is no cost nor commitment to do a budget analysis, so I welcome the opportunity to visit with you.