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Published: 7/17/2003

Police in Oregon OK contract, defer raises for 1st year

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Oregon police officer and union president Mike O'Connor said that because the city's 42 patrol officers are willing to help out the city, they agreed to a new contract in which they won't receive a pay increase for the first year.

In exchange, the officers won't be required to pay any additional money for their health insurance.

It will remain at $30 per month for a family plan and free for a single person.

“Health care was a major issue, and costs for the city did go up 10 to 15 percent,” Mr. O'Connor said. “So there were concessions on both sides.”

The three-year contract, which took about a month to negotiate, can be reopened after the first year, when the police union may ask for some kind of pay raise.

Oregon City Council approved the pact Monday night.

“I give the patrolmen a lot of credit,” said city administrator Ken Filipiak. “The city is not in a strong financial position and they recognize our situation, and they were willing to work with us.”

The city's fire department has agreed to a similar contract, which could be approved by the council at its next regular meeting.

In other business, the council:

w Accepted a $228,937 bid from Gradel Geo Co. to build the 0.84-mile bike path that will link the city's municipal complex on Seaman Road to Pearson Metropark and to bike lanes on Starr Avenue.

The council approved spending $325,000 to purchase 23 acres for the bikeway in January.

w Announced that construction on the skate park behind the city municipal building began this week. It should be open by Aug. 1.

The council agreed in May to build a skate park at the William P. Coontz Complex behind the municipal building.

Skateparks International, Inc., of Hudson, Colo., was awarded the job after submitting a $78,887 bid.

The 10,000-square-foot park will include 12 obstacles, ramps, and rails for skateboarders and in-line skaters.

The city allocated $66,000 for the park and received a $55,945 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the project.



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