Let's Talk Money...Looking for a New Fire Chief
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Chief, Bill Markgraf is retiring. Now, the City is ready to look for a replacement. Markgraf is leaving, but he's leaving behind a $100,630 salary. The Columbia Fire Chief manages what amounts to a small business. It has 9 fire stations, 138 employers and a more than 14 million dollar budget. The City allocates the salaries of all the City employees and Markgraf's has been the same for the past two years.
How does Markgraf's $100,630 compare with other cities of similar size?
The Fire Chief of Springfield, Missouri makes $84,801. 60.
In Cape Girardeau, the Fire Chief makes $80,974.00.
And Springfield, Illinois, $109,999.50.
When hiring a new chief, Bill Watkins, the City Manager says, "We're going to look at the market and see what Fire Chiefs of similar size departments to ours and see what they are being paid."
"I'm sure there's several people with in the department now that will be interested," says Sapp.
The City hopes to put out an application for the new Fire Chief by the end of next week. The application will stay out for 4-6 weeks. The City plans on looking internally first. Watkins says that could save the city money. But, if the City can't find the best candidate internally, it is willing to spend money looking elsewhere.
"There will be some costs if we have outside candidates, bringing them to Columbia for a visit," says Watkins. "We just want to find the best person for the job."
This may force cutbacks on other projects.
"That's resources that Human Resources won't have to do other things they want to do," says Watkins.
The City Manager hopes to find a replacement before he retires in March.