For the first time since January 2001, Urbana City Council is considering an ordinance establishing new guidelines for how future elected officials will be compensated for their services.
During Tuesday’s council meeting, the first reading of the ordinance, which outlines pay for the mayor, council president and council members, underwent a first reading.
The main difference between the pay ordinances adopted in 2001 and the proposed ordinance is how elected officials are paid.
“(Currently), their salaries (council president and council members) are not based on the number of meetings they attend,” Director of Finance Chris Boettcher said.
Under their current contracts, the mayor receives a yearly salary of $12,000, the salary of the council president is $8,000, and council members receive an annual salary of $6,000.
The newly proposed ordinance calls for the mayor’s yearly salary to be increased to $13,000, while the council president would be paid $250 per meeting (capped at $8,000 annually) and council members would receive $200 per meeting (capped at $6,000 annually) regardless of whether the meeting is a regular meeting, special meeting or a work session.
Road salt on its way
Council authorized the purchase of 400 tons of road salt from the Champaign County Engineer’s Office at a rate of $70.15 per ton at a total cost of $28,060.
“We were able to come in under budget for this year,” Director of Administration Kerry Brugger said. “Last year, I think we spent $118 a ton. We are coming in about 39 percent under that, so it’s a significant savings.”
In the past, Brugger said, the city acquired its road salt through the consortium known as Southwest Ohio Purchasers for Government (SWOP4G).
“We decided after last year’s experience we would try to move in and use the (Ohio Department of Transportation) program,” he said. “Earlier this year, we had authorization to participate in the ODOT program, however, due to the timing, we were not able to participate in the summer bid.
“We worked with the county, and Steve McCall (county engineer) said he would be willing to put additional (road salt) on his bid. We appreciate Steve working with us,” Brugger added.
The 400 tons of salt will be delivered to the city’s salt dome on Taft Avenue by Oct. 1.
Brugger said the city plans to acquire another 500 tons of road salt during ODOT’s winter bid with delivery taking place in January 2016.
In other business:
•A garage damaged by two separate arson fires at 304 E. Church St. will be razed after council approved a purchase order in the amount of $3,335.85 to REM Excavating LLC for demolition of the structure.
City Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said the contract involves removal of all the solid waste in the garage, the razing of the garage, removal of the concrete slab and reseeding of the top soil.
“It’s definitely going to help that area,” council member Doug Hoffman said. “It looks pretty bad.”
Crabill noted all costs will be billed to the property owner, and if the bill isn’t paid in a timely manner, an assessment will be placed on the property.
•Council waived the three-readings rule and passed on emergency basis a resolution approving a sanitary sewer tap-in and water tap-in for Allison P. Inskeep at 638 Childrens Home Road.
“There are nearby water and sewer mains for this property,” Crabill said, noting the property contains two parcels and the tap-ins will only serve the parcel containing a farmhouse, not the parcel containing a barn and acreage.
Inskeep is required per city ordinance to initiate annexation into the city within 60 days of finalizing the application.
Crabill said Inskeep will be responsible for all construction costs and applicable fees related to the utility extensions and tap-ins.
•Council authorized a purchase order to the Community Improvement Corporation of Champaign County, doing business as the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), in the amount of $25,000 for the half-year period from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2015.
Brugger said in May, the city passed a resolution authorizing an agreement between the Champaign County Commission and city to join together to develop the CEP, and the $25,000 had already been budgeted by the city to be used for economic development purposes.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.