Leetonia council plans to promote workers to full time

LEETONIA- Village Council Wednesday night agreed to promote several employees to full time, but tabled the issue to discuss where the employees will enter the benefits scale.

Council approved the reclassification of road employees Craig Thomas and Charles Smith and police personnel Becky Shearer, Tracy McCreary, Dan Soules and George Long who have been working 39 hours per week. The change in status will increase the road department budget $1,600 and the police department budget $12,065, if each employee uses every sick day, according to Fiscal Officer Randy Chismar.

Village administrators attributed the Affordable Care Act for making the promotions possible, since the village in January dropped insurance coverage for the employees.

Council tabled the action, however, to discuss where the employees should enter the vacation and sick pay scale, with at least one employee set to double in vacation if they are made retroactive to their original hire. Currently the personnel ordinance stipulates employees begin to accrue vacation and sick days once they are made full time, so council asked for time to look into amending the ordinance before officially approving the promotions.

Chismar noted that making the scale rates retroactive would increase the police department budget an additional $4,000, roughly.

In other business council approved Shade Tree Advisor Bill Merdich to attend the 2014 North Coast Urban Forestry Conference on March 7 at $30 and for Merdich and Shade Tree Commissioner Sue Simpson to attend Tree Survival School March 25-27 for $135 each.

Council also amended its cemetery burial costs ordinances to incorporate the $50 increase for opening and closing approved last month.

Also at the meeting, Councilwoman Sue Buchanan reminded residents not to plow or shovel snow into the roadway.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Village Hall, preceded by a Water/Sewer Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. and tentatively followed by a Police Committee meeting.