By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
If a tree falls across a city street or a water main breaks, someone will hear about it.
Because of a new policy Angels Camp implemented this week, residents can call city hall, and an employee assigned to on-call duty will handle after-hours emergencies.
In the past, there were no official on-call workers. When an emergency happened, city officials just went through the employee phone list to try and find someone to help.
The new policy is expected to take effect Monday. It says one water/wastewater employee and one public works employee will have on-call duty each week.
"The biggest thing is that callers will reach an answering service so they can talk to a person instead of a machine," said Councilman Curly Middleton. "We've been a long time without this."
Employees will receive $250 per week for on-call duty in addition to their regular salary. The on-call program's cost for the remainder of this fiscal year is $6,360 including on-call pay, phone and answering service charges and fuel.
The estimated cost for next fiscal year July 1 through June 31, 2004 is $27,480.
The council unanimously approved the policy and funding for the remainder of this fiscal year.
City Finance Director Blain Oborn said funding for the remainder of this year is being distributed among the general fund, the water operations and maintenance fund and the wastewater operations and maintenance fund.
Ten percent, or $636, is coming from the general fund, 40 percent, or $2,544, from the wastewater operations and maintenance fund and 50 percent, or $3,180 from the water operations and maintenance fund.
"Next year we may change distribution between funds, but the funding will be included as part of the budget," Oborn said.