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Babylon payroll drops as town cuts overtime

Babylon Town Hall is shown on Dec. 14,

Babylon Town Hall is shown on Dec. 14, 2011 in Lindenhurst. Credit: Carl Corry

Babylon spent $29.4 million in 2013 to pay its 1,422 employees.

The town's total pay last year went down from 2012's $29.7 million despite increasing its workforce by 52 in 2013.

Officials attribute part of that to Babylon's efforts to cut back on overtime, which accounted for 2.5 percent of total payroll costs in 2013, compared with 6.3 percent in 2012.

Richard Groh, chief environmental analyst at the Department of Environmental Control, made the most overtime in Babylon -- $33,354 -- in 2013, bringing his total pay to $150,483. Groh was also the highest paid town employee overall, making nearly $20,000 more than the next-highest paid worker.

Groh's overtime is entirely related to long hours during and after superstorm Sandy, Supervisor Richard Schaffer said. "He has been a big part of not only our emergency response for Sandy, but a big part of our work that we've done with the state on the community reconstruction zones, as well as other issues that have come up."

Schaffer was paid $104,909 in 2013, making him the fifth-highest paid supervisor in Suffolk County and the 20th-highest paid worker in Babylon. He said it was appropriate compensation for his work.

"It's in line with being the chief executive officer of a $300 million corporation," Schaffer said. "The town -- between all the budgets that we have and all the obligations that we have -- it's in line with running a large company."

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