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Published: Thursday, 6/14/2007

Council votes raises in salaries, sewer rates

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Both the sewer rates and the salaries for village employees will soon increase in Woodville.

Woodville Village Council voted at its last meeting to hike sewer rates by 10 percent before voting to increase village employees' salaries by either 3 or 4 percent.

The sewer rates were raised because the village does not meet the discharge permit as it was issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

That ordinance was approved by a 4-1-1 vote.

Councilman Ty Tracy voted against the measure and Councilman Jeff Tate abstained from voting on it.

Village officials said they believe the increase is necessary to plan for future expansion and improvements to its storm and sanitary sewer system. With the increase, which takes effect July1, the first 2,000 gallons of water consumption per month will be $14.96, up from $13.60.

Residents will notice the increase on their August bills.

Mr. Tracy said he voted against the measure because a few subdivisions already have a sewer separation.

Mr. Tracy said that he feels that those residents should not have to pay the $2 charge per service that is deposited into the sewer replacement and improvement fund for future improvements to the sewer system required by the Ohio EPA because their homes already have that improvement.

"That one was kind of unprecedented," he said. "But I felt there should be either a decrease in the amount that they pay or a waiver of the $2 fee. I think there should have been some further discussion and negotiations for that."

Mr. Tracy was also the only councilman to vote against an ordinance approving wage increases for village employees.

The ordinance gives a 3 percent pay increase to the village's 11 part-time employees and a 4 percent increase to its 15 full-time employees.

Mr. Tracy said he voted against the measure because he thought that every employee would be receiving the same 3 percent increase, and there was no explanation given for the reason some received more.

"I just don't think that the residents of Woodville, especially under these economic times, would agree to council approving anything more than 3 percent for wage increases," he said. "I would most likely have voted for a 3 percent increase across the board."

After the vote, Police Chief Roy Whitehead thanked council on behalf of the village employees for the wage increases, which will go into effect July 2.

Last year, village employees were all given a 3 percent wage increase.



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