(Posted Jan. 25, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
London city council approved a 3 percent increase in salary ranges for city department heads.
The legislation passed 6-0 on Jan. 19. Previously, with union increases and step increases, the potential existed for some city employees to surpass their supervisors in pay.
Council approved one exception to the 3 percent across-the-board increase. The water superintendent pay range went up 5 percent. The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) requested the larger increase because the current superintendent, Marty Colwell, will be taking on additional responsibilities once the new water plant opens.
The new department head salary ranges are as follows:
- Safety service director—$58,294 to $75,054;
- Police chief—$57,276 to $73,743;
- Police captain—$55,208 to $71,080;
- Fire chief—$57,276 to $73,743;
- Recreation director—$37,020 to $47,663;
- Tax director—$10,000 to $58,409;
- Street superintendent—$45,366 to $58,409;
- Water superintendent—$45,366 to $61,244;
- Sanitation superintendent—$45,366 to $58,409;
- Utilities director—$42,236 to $54,380;
- Executive assistant—$35,802 to $46,095.
Bike Path Grant
The Madison County Park District is applying for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant to sealcoat six miles of the Ohio To Erie Trail between Maple Street and Wilson Road on the east side of London. The grant requires local matching funds. The park district asked the city to help meet the match.
City council approved the requested financial support. The city maintains 38 percent of the trail, from Maple Street to Spring Valley Road, according to council member Josh Peters, who sponsored the legislation. If the grant is awarded, the city’s share of the match will be $2,000 to $3,000, he said.
The grant application deadline is Feb. 1.
Open Forum on Drug Abuse
Mayor Pat Closser plans to hold a town-hall style meeting about drug abuse in the community. A date and time have not yet been set.
“There has been a lot of talk about drug abuse recently on social media, and I have been tagged in some posts. I spent a lot of time today responding to people’s questions and comments,” he said. “It sounds like people have ideas on how to help and want to get involved.”
Two new restaurants are slated to open this spring in London. Gizzy’s Corner, a home-cooking restaurant, will occupy the former Gee’s China Lantern location at 165 E. High St. A February opening date is planned. The new owner of the former Stinger’s Lounge & Grill at 18 E. High St. plans to reopen the space as Shan’s Bar & Grill in April. Both locations are under renovation.
“I urge everyone to like their Facebook pages to see their progress, and when they do open to support them,” Closser said. “We can open a hundred restaurants, but if nobody goes and supports them, they’re not going to succeed.”
Water Tower and Plant
Stan Kavy of BPU reported that the new water tower was backfilled over the holidays, doubling the city’s water capacity. The new water plant’s walls are up, and cranes are lifting equipment over the walls and into place before the roof goes on.
General Fund Carryover
Closser reported the city is carrying over $474,000 from 2016 into the 2017 budget. He also noted that the city spent less in 2016 ($3.86 million) than it did in 2015 ($3.89 million).
“My administration was challenged by city council to save money, and I felt we have done that,” Closser said. “I would like to thank all of the department heads for being fiscally responsible and making this carryover happen.”
Election petitions due
Petitions to run for city council in the primary election must be submitted to the Madison County Board of Elections by 4 p.m. Feb. 1. For details, visit electionsonthe.net/oh/madison/ or call the Board of Elections at (740) 852-9424.
The next regular council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in council chambers at 6 E. Second St. Also at that location, the public service committee will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 and the finance committee will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 13. The safety committee will meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the police department.