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Published: Monday, 4/24/2006

Mayor vetoes waiver for Costco

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has vetoed the living wage waiver sought by a proposed West Toledo Costco store, forcing the issue back to council for an override vote tomorrow.

Council needs at least nine votes to allow the waiver of the city s living wage over the mayor s veto.

Mr. Finkbeiner cited the cost of the Costco project to city taxpayers, including $300,000 in cash out of city coffers, and an estimated $7.2 million in lost property taxes, as his reason for insisting that Costco pay the city s minimum living wage.

The veto comes after a dispute over the time that the 10-day window to veto legislation ends.

Gerald Dendinger, the clerk of council, said the deadline for a veto was 4:45 p.m. Sunday.

But the mayor and his acting law director, John Madigan, said the deadline was midnight. Mr. Madigan delivered the veto letter about 11:30 p.m. last night.

Council voted 8-2 on April 13 to waive the living wage to allow Westgate Village Shopping Center to complete a development deal with the retail company. Two members were absent.

Companies that receive an incentive package from the city are required to pay the so-called living wage, which is equal to 110 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four currently $10.57 an hour with benefits beginning after 60 days.

A Costco "service assistant," after a full year of service would make $21,380 a year or $10.50 an hour, and the company s benefits begin after 90 days.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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