City council considers wage increases

Tiffin City Council members discussed an ordinance increasing minimum wage in compliance with Ohio Minimum Wage Law and increasing wages for non-union city employees by 3 percent at a Finance Committee meeting Monday.

The raise is applicable to all employees, union and non-union, excluding elected officials.

Council was advised to read the ordinance after discussion with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in union negotiations.

The wage increase is consistent with the raise increase of the police officers.

An ordinance approving the labor contract was approved at the council meeting Monday.

“We thought the 3 percent was fair and equitable,” Mayor Aaron Montz said.

The ordinance to increase wages was introduced at the council meeting Monday. The union is to vote on the agreement today.

The committee also discussed the possible addition of funding for a street sweeper in the capital improvement line of next year’s budget. The sweeper would cost about $230,000, with half coming from capital improvements and half coming from sewer maintenance.

Councilman Mark Hayes said he would be more comfortable having Public Works Superintendent Mike Hoffman present justification to the committee for the purchase.

Montz said the funding was included in the budget to get rid of supplemental appropriations throughout the year. In the past, if the money was needed and not originally appropriated, departments would ask council for supplemental funding.

“We need to do everything we can to budget our expenses,” he said. “We need to start budgeting like we spend things.”

Councilman Rich Cline suggested council’s involvement in deciding what projects are included in capital improvements in order to prioritize. Montz said he would ask for an updated plan from city departments for capital improvements.

Finance Director Gwynn Reinhart said City Admininistrator Deb Reamer suggested a move from Time Warner Cable for the phone systems to Volli.

The company approached the city and said they could save the city $945 monthly, Reinhart said. She said with the necessary installation and the hardware, the city could see savings in five months.

Councilman Brian Bilger asked about the length of the contract and whether the cost would increase after a certain time period.

Reinhart is to get more information on the system before a decision is made whether to include the funding necessary for installation in next year’s budget.

In other business, the committee discussed year-end budget adjustments. Changes include refunds from sewer revenue totaling $28,000. Reinhart said two businesses should have been dropped from the special connection fee, but the city has recently found the error.

Reinhart said businesses must be manually dropped from the fee.

The changes were moved to council.