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Published: Wednesday, 3/14/2012

Perrysburg police contract approved

Officers, sergeants to receive 1.75% raises in 3-year accord

BY GABRIELLE RUSSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

For the next two years, Perrysburg police officers and sergeants will get a 1.75 percent raise and lump-sum payments but also will be paid less overtime.

City council approved the two three-year contracts with little discussion at a meeting last week. The contracts -- which the city and unions started negotiating last fall -- call for wage reopeners in 2014.

To make up for lost overtime in 2012 and 2013, the 25 patrol officers will receive lump sum payments of $2,200, and the six sergeants will get $2,500.

Patrol officers will lose 15 minutes of daily overtime and sergeants' overtime will be reduced to 15 minutes from 30 -- which was time spent on debriefings by the previous police shift, said the city's human resource director, Kelly Louderback.

Overtime otherwise would have cost the city about $130,400 during the three-year contracts' life, she said, adding that the police department relies more on technology now for daily updates instead of face-to-face debriefings.

Changes

Perrysburg city government is undergoing a significant shakeup this year as it seeks three new administrators, including one to oversee the new public utilities department.

"We're trying to manage those transitions responsibly so it will be seamless in the organization," said City Administrator John Alexander, who is to step down from his post June 1.

At the same meeting last week, the council created the public utilities department, which is to be the umbrella organization for the water distribution and sewage/storm water collection divisions as well as the waste water treatment division.

Previously, those areas were under the supervision of Jon Eckel, the public service director.

City officials said a new director is needed to handle an upcoming water-rates study, a wastewater treatment plant expansion, and constantly changing government regulations. "It's a big move for the city of Perrysburg," said Mr. Eckel, who plans to spend his time in charge of the engineering, streets and buildings, and land sanitation divisions in the public service department.

The public utilities director, to be hired in early May and to have offices at 211 East Boundary St., will be paid up to $95,263.

The new department could save $251,394 because the city is expected not to fill one vacancy that is now open, as well as three others in the next five years, Mr. Eckel said. The cuts in personnel would be possible because the water distribution and the sewage and storm water collection divisions would be consolidated in the new department, he added.

Candidates

The city is interviewing candidates this month for the planning and zoning administrator, whose salary could be as much as $92,917, based on experience, Ms. Louderback said.

Rick Thielen, the former administrator, resigned Nov. 7.

The city's search for its next administrator also is under way.

So far, more than 40 candidates -- including former Toledo Economic Development Commissioner Brad Peebles and Toledo Public Utilities Director David Welch -- have been fielded and have undergone one round of written questions. The second-round finalists are expected to be announced this month.

The new city administrator, whose salary could be as much as $114,000, is expected to be hired in April or May, Ms. Louderback said.

In other action, the city approved spending an additional $24,000 for engineer work to design the million-gallon water tower on Roachton Road. The money was needed because more site work and testing were needed, Mr. Eckel said.

Construction on the water tower -- the first of two to be built for an estimated $5.6 million in the next several years -- is scheduled to bid in April, according to the city.



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