An ordinance establishing compensation for the city’s future elected officials underwent a second reading during Tuesday’s Urbana City Council meeting, but not before it was amended to meet Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) guidelines.
On July 21, council heard the first reading of the ordinance, which outlines pay for the mayor, council president and council members. Under the current ordinance, adopted in 2001, 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 when presented to council last month called for the mayor’s yearly salary to be increased to $13,000, while the council president and council members would be paid based on the number of meetings they attend. The ordinance stated the council president would receive $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 was a regular meeting, special meeting or a work session.
Following the first reading, it was discovered that as of Jan. 1, 2014, OPERS guidelines state that in order to receive full-time service credits for pension purposes, a public employee must receive an earnable salary of more than $600 per month.
To meet the new criteria, Director of Law Breanne Parcels amended the ordinance to read council members who begin their terms in 2016 or thereafter will receive $605 per month (no more than $7,260 annually), while the compensation for council president will be $700 per month (capped at $8,400 annually).
Council expects to vote on the pay ordinance during its Aug. 18 meeting.
The 72-year-old sliding doors on the north and south portions of Grimes Hangar at Grimes Field will be replaced in favor of two new hydraulic doors after council approved spending $68,309 to cover the project.
“The current doors are dilapidated, and they are constructed of heavy steel and can be difficult to move under the best of circumstances,” Airport Manager Lou Driever said. “The doors regularly come off the track and require the delicate application of a 5-pound hammer at the top to return them to proper working order. When the doors don’t open, aircraft can be trapped inside. Doors are meant to reliably open and close – these don’t.”
The new hangar doors are being purchased at a cost of $24,255 from Higher Power Hydraulic Doors out of Michigan, while Evan Electric will handle all the electrical work at a cost of $4,400.
Howell Construction will be hired to perform all the installation work at a cost of $39,654. Included in the cost is the demolition of the existing doors, concrete apron demolition and replacement, installation of a trench drain at the north door apron, installation of both doors, painting, and the installation of steel end caps on the north and south face of the hangar.
“The new hydraulic doors are easily opened day and night and in fair or inclement weather by a single person,” Driever said. “The doors are reliable, so ongoing repair costs will drop significantly, and installation of these doors will seal the hangar from the weather. The current doors have gaps that allow moisture to invade the interior.
“These doors are also self-supporting, while the current doors hang off the front of the building,” he added. “The overall stress and strain on the structure will be reduced.”
By a 5-1 vote (council member Eugene Fields voted no, council member Doug Hoffman was absent), council signed off on a purchase order to Strawser Construction Inc. in the amount of $79,791.22 for crack sealing, chip sealing, and microsurfacing on North Jefferson Avenue, as well as crack sealing on East Water Street.
“This constitutes the city’s street paving program for the year,” city Engineer Tyler Bumbalough said.
As a follow-up project to the work approved on North Jefferson Avenue and East Waster Street, council agreed to pay Griffin Pavement Striping $20,559.43 for thermoplastic striping on both roadways and on Monument Square.
Bumbalough said the striping project will replace the faded striping in and around Monument Square, the striping on East Water Street from South Main Street to Finch Street, and the striping on North Jefferson Avenue from Scioto Street to Boyce Street.
In other business:
•Council waived the three-readings rule and passed on emergency basis a resolution authorizing the director of administration or fire chief to accept, on behalf of the city, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Fire Chief Mark Keller said he has yet to receive the grant, which the resolution states will be awarded to the city in the amount of $305,232.
The resolution goes on to state the SAFER grant may be used to hire or retain personnel to ensure the Urbana Fire Division has adequate resources to respond and safely perform its duties.
•Thad Davis was sworn in as an Urbana Fire Division firefighter/paramedic by Mayor Bill Bean.
•Council agreed to continue moving forward with the Safe Routes to School Phase 2 Project by amending the existing contract with DLZ Ohio Inc. to add additional services in the amount of $17,500 for project management, negotiation services, closing services, and recording services related to the project that will build sidewalks on the south side of Boyce Street from East Lawn Avenue to Jefferson Avenue and on the east side of Madison Avenue from Boyce Street to Central Street (back of East Elementary).
•An ordinance accepting the new Dollar Tree property, 1620 E. U.S. Route 36, into the city was passed by council.
City Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said the piece of legislation must sit 30 days before becoming law, so the property won’t officially be part of the city until early September.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.