By Amanda Ensinger
At a recent Prairie Township meeting, the board approved several pay increases, as well as moved forward with some construction projects.
The board approved spending $7,500 on the engineering of a concrete apron for fire station 241 on Inah Avenue.
“This has been a lingering project for the past two years that needs to start moving forward,” said Chris Synder, Prairie Township Fire Chief. “The total cost on this project will be around $90,000 and I hope it will be complete by May or early June of 2017.”
The comprehensive project will include concrete removal and replacement of all the concrete in front of the station.
The board also approved a 4 percent pay increase for all part-time fire department employees. This pay increase will affect 32 part-time firefighters and five part-time dispatchers.
“We monitor the environment in central Ohio and find this is necessary to remain competitive,” Synder said, “This will take us to the mid range to upper level and will help us retain quality employees.”
Synder said that pay will also need to be addressed for full-time fire department staff by 2018 in order for the township to remain competitive.
This pay increase will on average increase a part-time firefighter’s hourly rate by approximately 40 cents and a part-time dispatcher’s rate by approximately 45 cents.
“It still isn’t a significant pay increase considering how important the work they are doing is,” Synder said.
The board also approved a 2 percent pay increase for all non-union township staff.
“This pay increase corresponds with the inflation rates in 2017,” Hatmaker said.
In other news, the trustees approved relocating 50 trees that line West Broad Street as part of the West Broad Street Streetscape.
“These trees were getting in the way of traffic signals and street signs,” said Randi Good, human resources and operations coordinate for Prairie Township. “We also will be adding 21 trees as a result of the COTA bus stop being relocated.”