DYSART ET AL, ON – Dysart is adding hours, salary and benefits to a job in hopes it will draw in more applicants.

During this week’s council meeting, the councillors voted to approve the transition of a seasonal arena operator position to a full-time position.

The reasoning for instituting this change came down to the fact that the municipality was having struggles in retaining seasonal staff, and in some cases even getting applications for the job.

According to the report presented to council, making that position full-time means an additional $25,374 each year. The report also suggests that roughly 60 percent of that added cost is contributed to the benefits the hiree would be entitled to.

On top of that, if the position is filled by August 12th of this year, there is another cost of $9,515. If it is filled after that date there would be a cost savings of $6,936.

While discussion the financial implications of this transition, councillor John Smith raised concerns over that much of a cost increase. He feels that perpetually adding costs of that size are going to make it challenging for the municipality to sustain the arena.

Speaking to the necessity of making the job full-time, Mayor Andrea Roberts pointed out the municipality has had trouble filling the position, and when they do it has often led to the person moving on after they’re certified.

Dysart CAO Tamara Wilbee chimed in to explain that in a lot of cases, what attracts people to jobs is the pension and benefits, which is in this case also what costs so much.

Also emphasizing the importance of filling that position, former NHL player and multi-term councillor Walt McKechnie pointed out that at one point he had a visit from another former NHL player Marty Mcsorley who was completely enamoured by the arena and the possibility that like Matt Duchene and Cody Hodgson, a future NHL star could be using that arena as they go on their way to the pros.

Mayor Roberts believes that with the position now full-time they will get more applications.