Montz suggests change in payouts

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he wants to change the city’s policy regarding sick and compensatory time payouts for retiring employees.

Montz said in 2012, the city paid $106,000 in sick time payouts, and has paid $886,000 since 1989.

“We have made so many cuts within the city to save money for the taxpayers, I think about the only thing left is looking at the benefits our employees receive,” Council President Paul Elchert said at the extended committee of the whole meeting before the regular council meeting.

Montz recommended the city change its policy to match the state of Ohio’s minimum standards, which Seneca County has done.

The state’s required sick time payout for retiring employees is a maximum of 30 days, compared to Tiffin’s current policy, which allows employees to collect 120 days worth of sick time.

Montz said if council decides to change the city’s policy on payouts, it would effect only newly hired employees, and it would not effect union employees and employees who already work for the city.

Law Director Brent Howard is going to write up a sample ordinance for council to look at and discuss at the next council meeting.

During the Tiffin City Council meeting, John Davoli, director of North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments, gave an update about Local Government Innovation Fund grants the city and county have sought.

Davoli also spoke about the state Safe Routes to School Project, which council approved later in the meeting.

Montz also said the state has re-introduced the bill that would reform the way municipal income taxes are collected.

He said House Bill 5 includes changes from last year’s House Bill 601, but the bill still is expected to hurt local governments significantly.

Montz asked council to amend the currently tabled resolution, which strongly opposes passage of the bill.

Gov. John Kasich released the state’s budget Monday, and Montz said he has been told there are expected to be cuts to local governments.

A semi-pro baseball team is to begin play in Tiffin in summer 2014, and will play at Tiffin University athletic complex, Montz said.

Also at the meeting, Finance Director Gwynn Reinhart said the city has received $9,479.36 for the first payment for the hotel-motel tax, for the last quarter of 2012.

She also said starting last Friday, city employees will pay 17.5 percent of the premium for the base health insurance plan or 23.8 percent for the buy-up plan.

In new business, council approved of the following by a vote of 7-0:

A resolution authorizing the city of Tiffin and its police department to participate in an application for Safe Routes to School Project through the state of Ohio for school travel, and declaring an emergency.

An ordinance amending section 143.06 of Tiffin Codified Ordinances to increase ambulance service rates by the Medicare 2013 ambulance inflation factor, and declaring an emergency.

Council also heard the first of three readings of the following ordinances:

An ordinance amending budget ordinance 12-73 appropriating money for a donation received for the police dog program.

An ordinance levying assessments for the 2012 sidewalk replacement project, and declaring an emergency.