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Published: Wednesday, 5/23/2012

Turnpike officials' pay revised

The Ohio Turnpike Commission has announced changes to its administrative pay and benefits expected to save the commission about $2 million annually.

The commission Monday approved restructuring senior management salaries to cut the top-of-scale pay to $111,785 from $136,000.

It also amended medical insurance benefits and vacation/sick time for nonunion employees to require higher premium contributions from employees and to reduce the amount of sick or vacation time that may be carried over and accumulated from one year to the next.

"We have an obligation to our customers to provide the best service at the lowest cost," Executive Director Rick Hodges said in a statement issued after the commission meeting. "While our funding source is relatively stable, that should not make us immune to reviewing our operations and making the same kind of changes that have impacted so many people during the course of the recent recession."

Money saved on salaries and benefits will be reinvested in maintaining the turnpike, Mr. Hodges said.

The plan calls for administrative reorganization that would combine the turnpike's maintenance and engineering departments. That consolidation "will improve coordination of workflow and result in superior road maintenance, which ultimately may lead to fewer work zones for customers," according to a toll-road statement.

In 2003, the commission cut the executive director's salary to $125,000 from $150,000; it is now $129,000.

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