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Davison County to conduct its own wage survey

Davison County will conduct a wage survey to see where its employees stand on pay and benefits compared to like-sized counties, with the city of Mitchell and on a statewide scale.

At the same time, the county commissioners decided not to do anything with a wage survey that was done by Planning and Development District III, of Yankton, which took wage figures from 16 counties stretching from Yankton to Mellette counties from east to west and from Sanborn to Lyman counties down to the Nebraska border. There's too many smaller counties in the survey, the commissioners said during their regular meeting Tuesday, to truly get a solid comparison.

"It's virtually useless for us. It's not really apples to apples," said Davison County Planning and Zoning Administrator Jeff Bathke, who then presented on the county's plan for its own wage survey.

Instead, the county will look at the state average among counties, comparative wages from the city of Mitchell, and like-sized counties such as Lawrence, Hughes, Beadle and Yankton.

Bathke said the county's wage study would be able to look at aspects such as the comparison of overtime usage in a budget or a full-time equivalent employee in the jail, for example. The survey would also look at a starting salary scale based on experience, standardized employee evaluations and planning for departures.

Bathke said he expects to be able to pull together a report in the next few months.