Southold Town spent more than $19 million on its 341 workers in 2014, a $972,880 — or 5.4 percent — increase from the year before, a Newsday analysis of town and city payroll data shows.
“Salaries are far and away the single biggest [budget] cost,” Supervisor Scott Russell said. “The problem is that salaries are influenced by the salaries of surrounding towns. . . . At the end of the day, municipal workers do very well.”
Overtime accounted for nearly $1.2 million, or 6.2 percent, of the town’s total salary costs last year. Southold had 36 employees who added $10,000 or more to their take-home pay through overtime.
Russell said the town tries to minimize overtime. Except for the police and highway departments, all overtime must be preapproved by a department head and Russell himself.
The local police force, including dispatchers, accounted for $8.4 million, or 44 percent, of the town’s total payroll expenditures — the town’s single most costly department.
Police Captain for Towns and Villages Frank R. Kruszeski was the highest-paid worker, making $233,927. He supplemented his $179,627 base pay with $9,018 in overtime and $45,280 in vacation, sick days and other payouts.
Southold had 56 workers who made $100,000 or more in 2014. All but one of the town’s 40 highest-paid employees worked in law enforcement.
Russell made $100,857, ranking 56th highest-paid in his town. His pay ranked 11th out of Long Island’s 15 town and city executives.
The town’s 230 union workers collectively made $15.3 million, including $1.1 million in overtime. The 111 nonunion workers made $3.8 million, including $52,855 of overtime.
The town had 212 full-time workers, who accounted for $17.6 million of total payroll costs. Part-time and seasonal workers numbered 129 — nearly 38 percent of the town’s entire workforce. Their paychecks accounted for $1.5 million of total payroll costs, or 7.8 percent.