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City, union reach compromised settlement

By George W. Davis correspondent

GREEN: The city and the 48-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2714 have agreed to a compromised settlement on wages and health-care costs after several months of negotiations.

City Council President Dave France, chair of council’s Rules and Personnel Committee, said Tuesday night that both sides have agreed to a 2 percent pay increase in each year of the three-year pact. Employee co-payments for health-care benefits will increase from the current 5 percent to 10 percent in the last year of the contract.

Council voted unanimously to accept the package, which is retroactive to mid-April, when the previous contract expired.

“I’m pleased with the outcome,” Mayor Dick Norton said in praising negotiators on both sides.

The union had sought 3 percent raises each year and health-care co-payments reaching 10 percent in year three. The city had offered 1.5 percent raises each year and insurance co-payments starting at 10 percent and rising to 12.5 percent and 15 percent over the life of the agreement.

Finance Director Larry Rush said the city’s cost for pay raises the first year is expected to be about $40,000. He added that final figures for the raises and benefits haven’t yet been calculated.

Council also agreed to modify appropriations by $273,298, with $250,000 to be returned to Diebold Corp. for overpayment of income taxes.

Also included was $16,000 for storm water improvements and two other minor changes.

The panel accepted the amounts and rates as determined by the Summit County Budget Commission, authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county’s fiscal officer.

The Summa Green Medical Office building was given approval of its final site plan just a week after the Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended approval council.

The 21,200-square-foot structure, which will be located southwest of the system’s Emergency Department now in operation, will be part of the system’s 25-acre campus, and a walkway will connect the two buildings.

Passage was approved on second reading so footers can be installed and work can continue through the winter months.

Green Village Nursing facility for skilled nursing and rehabilitation patients and under construction on Moore Road was granted a 50 percent tax increment financing plan for 30 years to help cover city expenses related to the project, which is estimated to cost $4.3 million.

Council Finance Chairman Chris Humphrey said the Green Local Schools will receive its normal portion of taxes.

A $71,600 contract also was given to Spano Brothers Construction of Akron for emergency repairs to a section of East Turkeyfoot Lake Road just west of Massillon Road where storm water run-off has eroded the compacted dirt base and could become a liability for the city.

Approval also was granted for a street lighting district on CVS Drive off Massillon Road, with the developer to pay for construction and installation while property owners will then be responsible for utility bills and maintenance.