MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon City Council approved three ordinances Monday night that will increase salaries for 14 city employees.
“This is a fairness issue,” said Bruce Hawkins, member of the Employee and Community Relations Committee. “These people are not involved in the collective bargaining unit; fairness has to be consistent.”
The following salaries (and annual longevity increments) were approved: Police chief, $67,520 ($600); police captain, $63,050 ($600); fire chief, $68,366 ($600); assistant fire chief, $63,891 ($600); safety-service director, $73,676; ($600); city engineer, $75,398 ($600); treatment and distribution administrator, $62,551 ($400); office and customer service administrator, $47,875 ($400); parks, public buildings and land supervisor, $52,539 ($400); development service manager, $47,250 ($400); income tax administrator, $52,295 ($400); street superintend, $52,539 ($400); assistant law director, $56,995; civil service administrator, $9,290.
Salaries are based on a 40-hour week which includes five consecutive eight-hour shifts. No overtime or compensatory time off is permitted and all supervisory staff employees are required to report to duty in the off hours whenever the need arises.
All pay increases, according to the legislation, is effective to Jan. 1, with retroactive pay due to the employee in one lump sum.
Council also approved a measure that will sell the following city vehicles by sealed bid: two, 2008 Chevrolet Impalas; a 1997 Ford Explorer; a 2002 Ford Taurus; and two, 2008 Chevrolet Impalas.
Mount Vernon City Council members agreed to conduct a committee meeting in April to discuss truck traffic through the city and what can be done to keep trucks on marked state routes.
“We need to get serious about truck traffic or our signs,” said at-large council member Rebecca Jordan.
Jordan said a truck driver tried to maneuver his truck onto North Main Street from East Gambier Street last week and hit the pole holding the traffic light signs as well as the crosswalk signs. The Mount Vernon Police Department did issue a citation to the driver for driving off the posted routes.
“It’s more than getting trucks around the city,” Jordan said.
Mike Hillier, at-large member, agreed stating a constituent told him a tanker truck was spotted in the residential area of East High Street at 1:30 a.m. one day last week.
Nancy Vail said most of the city’s signs look the same and many intersections have several signs making it difficult to decipher where to go.
Dave Glass, city safety service director, said he would look into Ohio Department of Transportation regulations for signs and bring options to the April 25 committee meeting.
“When we have a tanker truck in the residential areas we have a big problem,” Hillier said.
Chuck Dice, First-ward representative, expressed concern regarding Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis’ statements published in Saturday’s edition of the News regarding tree limbs and debris near the channels of the viaduct.
Mavis said when the water recedes and temperatures improved, city employees would go into the water and cut up the limbs so they could float safely down the Kokosing River.
Dice is concerned the water will remain high with “April showers” and that the water will not be warm enough until May.
“If something isn’t done soon at the viaduct, we have a disaster waiting to happen,” Dice said.
He suggested local businesses might be interested in using their equipment to remove the debris from the river. “It would give peace of mind to west side residents.”
During the legislative portion of the meeting, council voted to permit Glass to advertise for bids for curb and brick work on portions of South Division and North McKenzie streets and for resurfacing and asphalt patching.
Proposed streets for resurfacing include Chestnut Street from Center Street to Center Run; Chestnut Street from Stevens Street to Edgewood Road; Clinton Road from Mansfield Avenue to Upper Fredericktown Road; Division Street from Mount Vernon Avenue to Martinsburg Road; East Street from Howard Street to East Ohio Avenue; Edgewood Road from Gambier Road to Marita Drive; Fairmont Avenue from dead end to Parrott Street; Jefferson Street from West High to West Chestnut streets; Nash Street from Mansfield Avenue to North Mulberry Street; Verndale Drive from East Chestnut Street to Coshocton Avenue and Whiteheirs Street from East High Street to East Chestnut Street.
Glass said the number of streets that are resurfaced will depend on the bid process. The city has appropriated $238,000 for the project.
The next council meeting will be April 11, when council meets jointly with the Mount Vernon Board of Education at 6 p.m. in City Hall. The regular legislative meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.