Final union pact OK’d

Tiffin City Council learned more details Tuesday night about the SR 18 Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Project and agreed to a three-year deal with a labor union.

A public hearing was held to discuss the improvement project, which is to cover the curb, sidewalk, pavement marking and lighting on Market and Perry streets from Rock Creek to just east of Circular Street. The project is funded by Ohio Department of Transportation and is to cost about $798,000.

Tiffin City Engineer Mario Livojevic said the project is similar to a 2016 project on Sandusky Street. He said a bicycle lane could be added with a sidewalk and decorative border beyond the curb line, but said details were not known because the project still was in the planning stage.

Livojevic said a second public hearing would be scheduled.

In another matter, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said the fourth and final labor contract was completed and city council unanimously approved it.

Jan. 3, council passed three-year agreements with Local 322 International Association of Fire Fighters; Local 583 Ohio Division 8, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association on behalf of uniformed police officers. Council approved the final labor contract with Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (Tiffin Police Communications Technicians) Tuesday night.

Montz said all union and non-union employees were given a 3-percent pay increase effective Jan. 1. He also said city workers would earn more if income tax revenue increases.

He said if income tax revenue increases 3-6 percent in 2018, city employees would receive a 1-percent raise. He added that if there is an income tax increase of more than 6 percent, a 2-percent pay increase would be given to city employees. The same rules are to apply for 2019, Montz said.

“We hope this brings more buy-in to the overall success of the city,” he said. “It’s a good deal for both the city and the employees. When we win, they win too.”

Tiffin City Councilman Tyler Shuff was happy union negotiations were complete.

“We won’t have to worry about this for another three years,” he said.

In other business, Tiffin Law Director Brent Howard discussed a request by The Advertiser-Tribune Editor Rob Weaver and business partner Eric Kuebler to open a nanobrewery in the Laird Arcade.

The city’s zoning board of appeals met Jan. 11 and approved the brewery as a permitted use, if city council and the city’s planning commission agree to allow it.

An ordinance amending city code to allow a nanobrewery to operate in a C-3 Central Business District was tabled Tuesday. Howard said in order to follow proper procedure, a public hearing is set for Feb. 6. Livojevic said a planning commission meeting would be scheduled and the commission would give a recommendation to city council before zoning code could be changed.

Howard said he and Livojevic thought council should revisit the procedure for what powers the zoning board has in similar situations. Livojevic said the board technically could have approved the request by citing similar uses that are permitted in a C-3 area.

Howard said council needs to decide if the zoning board of appeals should have the power to approve a permitted use because of a similarity to another use within the code, or if similar cases should come back to council.

Montz said five buildings in downtown were approved for facade enhancement grants.

He said more than $30,000 would be awarded, bringing an additional $65,000 of private investment.

The approved applications were for 46 Madison St. for roof repair, 33 S. Washington St. for window replacements, 25 and 27 S. Washington St. for roof repair, 29 and 31 S. Washington St. for roof repair, 132 S. Washington St. for painting and 116 S. Washington St. for signage improvements.

Montz also said the city’s do-not-knock registry is running.

The program is similar to the national do-not-call registry and is to not effect non-profit groups such as Scouts and sports teams.

To sign up for the free program, visit www.nopecinfo.org/block-the-knock/.

He said those who participate in the program will be given a window cling for their front door.

In other business:

• Montz thanked Dwight and Church for donating about $3,000 worth of pool chemicals to the city.

• Tiffin Finance Director Gwynn Reinhart reported about $9.3 million in income tax receipts for 2016, marking a record. She said it was a 9.6-percent increase over  2015.

• Montz thanked Tiffin Westgate Ltd. and Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Center for donations of $500 and $250 respectively. The donations are to help with Tiffin Police Department’s K9 program.

• An ordinance was approved to amend the 2017 budget for expenditures approved in 2016, but that were not completed and must be carried over to this year.

• A meeting of the Streets, Sidewalks and Sewers committee was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at City Hall. The meeting is to discuss a potential alley vacation north of Engle-Shook Funeral Home, 135 N. Washington St.

• Council had an executive session to discuss employee compensation and pending litigation against the city. Further information was not available.

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