Stange contract OK’d

INDEPENDENCE — Polk County Fire District No. 1 board of directors approved a contract for Chief Ben Stange, who will take the reins at the district on Aug. 29. The contract runs through June 2018 at $97,000 a year.

Also at the meeting, the board approved an increase to Assistant Chief Neal Olson’s salary at its Thursday meeting.

The proposal came because Olson has been serving as interim fire chief for two months.

Based on the salary of the former fire chief, Al Alcalde, Olson will get paid one-12th of $99,360 for July and August.

“We need to be clear that this is for Neal, for this position and for this situation,” board member Mike Lippsmeyer said.

Joost Vanderhave said that Olson “stepped up to the plate. He didn’t say, ‘I’m not going to take that responsibility.’”

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