By Andrea Cordle
The city of Grove City has reached an agreement with its police dispatchers.
At the Aug. 6 meeting, council approved the contract with the Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council, Inc. Police Dispatchers. The previous contract expired on Dec. 31, 2017. The groups have been in negotiations since.
The new contract will be effective retroactively on Jan. 1, 2018 and will expire Dec. 31, 2020.
According to councilwoman Christine Houk, the communication technicians will receive a pay increase of 2.75 percent this year, then receive a wage increase of 2.5 percent in 2019 and in 2020. The current hourly pay rate for police dispatchers range from $20.13 to $28.07.
The contract states that the supervisor will be paid 10 percent above the dispatcher wage. This is an increase from the previous rate of 8 percent.
Houk said the new contract would also require the employees to contribute 15 percent of their health insurance premiums. This is an increase from the previous contract where the employees contributed 10 percent. Houk said this is comparable to what other city employees contribute.
The contract also increases the tuition reimbursement from $4,500 to $5,000.
According to Deputy Administrator and Safety Director William Vedra, the city has 13 police dispatchers and one supervisor. They cover the city of Grove City, Jackson Township, Pleasant Township and Prairie Township, though the townships are covered for fire only. The townships contract with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for police coverage.
Regarding the contracts, Vedra said, “We appreciate the hard job the police dispatchers do.”
In other news, council approved the development plan for the Courtyards at Beulah Park, located at 3811 Southwest Blvd. This is a subarea in the Beulah Park redevelopment plan.
Joel Rhoades, with Epcon Communities, said these homes would be like those in the Pinnacle area and have an estimated price of $400,000.
Houk was the sole vote against the development plan.
She said it is difficult to sign off on a development plan before council signs off on a road plan.
“It’s the cart before the horse conversation for me,” said Houk.
Council was supposed to vote on a development plan for phase one of Beulah Park roadways, but that measure was postponed until Aug. 20.
In addition, Houk said council does not have a traffic study and they do not have an agreement regarding the railroad crossing.
The other council members did express concern about the infrastructure.
Rhoades said he accepts the uncertainty and understands that the development plan is contingent on a roadway plan.