CENTERBURG — Employees of the village of Centerburg will work in 2010 under the same pay scale as 2009 after council voted Monday night not to give pay increases, keeping with the Social Security Administration’s denial of a cost of living increase.
“There are still a lot of people out of work and the county won’t be giving any raises,” said councilwoman Susan Oswalt during compensation discussions.
“It’s really hard to justify [approval],” said councilwoman Diana Stockmaster of a wage increase.
Village clerk-treasurer Teri James said she had included a 2 percent wage increase in the 2010 budget. She also pointed out employees under the village’s health plan will be paying 8 percent more for their portion of the premium in 2010. The village, she said, pays 90 percent of the premium cost.
Oswalt rebuffed an argument for a raise based on insurance premiums by comparing it to seniors facing an increase in Medicare costs with no cost of living increase.
The wage ordinance that was passed, by a vote of 4-1, includes an exception for Village Administrator Phil Lohmeyer, who recently passed a state wastewater license test. According to his hiring agreement, Lohmeyer will earn $2,000 more each year for the license.
Randy McLarnan cast the lone no vote on the ordinance.
In other business, council:
•Agreed to support an effort by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to place an historic marker in the village to commemorate Brig. Gen. Daniel Reynolds, one of eight Ohio Confederate generals during the Civil War.
•Agreed to ask the Public Service Committee to explore options for billing Hilliar Township for water used in the Centerburg Community Memorial Park and the township cemetery. According to James, the village must bill for all water services now in order to qualify for grants needed to build the wastewater treatment plant. Don McCracken, township trustee-elect, asked council to consider a discount for the township, which will be required to pay twice the village’s typical fee as the park and the cemetery sit outside the village limits.
•Agreed to continue membership in the Knox County Regional Planning Commission.
•Approved 2010 appropriations.
•Approved payment for several expenditures to Bird & Bull.
•Tabled an agreement with the Knox County Commissioners for maintenance of Countryside Manor lift stations.
•Approved the following dates for meetings in 2010: Jan. 4, Feb. 1, March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 6, Aug. 2, Sept. 7, Oct. 4, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6. All meetings start at 7 p.m.
Before going into executive session to discuss personnel, requested by Aimee Humphrey, Mayor George Shaw read a proclamation thanking councilmen Jack Tucker for his years of dedication and service to the village. Tucker’s term ends Dec. 31.
“Jack consistently provided wisdom, humor and valuable insight to council,” Shaw said.
Tucker was not in attendance for his final council meeting due to a health issue.