By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
Grove City Council unanimously voted in favor of a contract between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police, Capital City Lodge #9.
The contract was approved at the Feb. 7 council meeting.
The agreement runs from January 2022 through December 2024 and offers a 3 percent salary increase for each of those years.
According to Chuck Boso, city administrator for the city of Grove City, the agreement covers patrol officers, sergeants, and lieutenants. The salary increases will cost the city an estimated $1.6 million.
Boso said a top tiered patrol officer who currently makes around $100,000 per year would make just over $110,000 by the end of the contract in year 2024. A sergeant who currently makes approximately $116,000 a year would see an increase to $126,800 in 2024, and a lieutenant who makes $130,700 at the current rate would see a pay increase to $142,900 by the end of the contract.
According to the city administrator, these salaries are in line with what other jurisdictions around the Columbus area are paying police officers.
Brian Toth, a liaison with Capital City Lodge #9 said the officers are deserving of the increased salary.
“They put their lives on the line every single day and they do a darn good job for Grove City,” he said.
In other news, construction of a roadway, that leads from the Pinnacle area to what will be a new park, has started and a few residents wanted to share their concerns with council.
Tournament Way in the Pinnacle area stops at a property owned by the city. This land will be turned into a park and a roadway will be installed to access the property. Residents in the area are concerned about the extra traffic.
“This could be endangering our children at the tail end of the subdivision,” said Cory Edwards.
Edwards said speeding along roadways in the Pinnacle area is already a problem. He asked city leaders if there were plans to prohibit high speed along the roadways.
Resident Daryl Schlosser was also concerned about the safety of residents due to drivers speeding along the roadway.
“There are a lot of bike riders and pedestrian traffic in that area,” he said.
Councilman Roby Schottke suggested that the city investigate speed humps along the road.
He said it will be a road leading to a park so pedestrians will be out, and children will be playing.
“It is essential that we try to calm traffic,” said Schottke.
Boso said traffic calming options are discussions city leaders and the community can have moving forward as the project progresses.
The plan for the Pinnacle Park is to utilize and preserve the area’s natural features. A preliminary park plan was laid out in 2019. The park would include a walking path through the woods and along the stream, as well as incorporate natural play areas.
City leaders believe the park would be used primarily by neighbors, but it could become more of a destination park as it develops.