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Leetonia council OKs raise, bonus for water operator

LEETONIA — Village council this week approved additional compensation for the highest ranking employee remaining in the utility departments.

Following an approximately 15-minute executive session, council granted a one-time bonus of $5,000 spread over several pays as well as an increase in salary to $47,500 per year, a pay raise of $7,500, to Lisa Smith, chief operator for the water and sewer department. Council approved the action acknowledging Smith has assumed multiple roles after the resignation of former Utilities Superintendent Butch Donnalley and taken on a lot of responsibility beyond her current position. Mayor Kevin Siembida noted only about 20 other people in Columbiana County have the same licensures as Smith and she should be paid a competitive salary.

Donnalley resigned last month after 44 years with the village. At that time Village Administrator Gary Phillips said council not only had to replace Donnalley, but should also seriously consider an assistant to the position that can be trained to take over.

Phillips issued a statement noting the village is seeking a superintendent of public works to replace Donnalley. The position will perform all necessary duties as directed by Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Village of Leetonia laws and regulations and as directed by the mayor, village administrator and village council; ensure that the continuous operation of the waste water, water plant, streets, storm water, parks and any other public necessities are maintained to Ohio EPA, OSHA and village standards; plan and conduct daily workloads of all public works employees; and conduct all operations safely and ensure proper certification is kept up to date. Candidates are preferred to have a Class II Waste Water and Class I Water license with five years of experience. The salary will be determined by years of experience.

In other business, council authorized Phillips to purchase a fully equipped F350 crew cab truck with a 6.5 foot bed for the utility department at a cost of $35,253 from Donnell Ford plus $7,114 for a snow plow. Smith said the village currently has three vehicles for the departments, which has five employees in addition to herself. Phillips also noted one of the plow trucks needs to be replaced.

Council also approved $15,000 for Quality Truck to replace the current bed on one of the village’s F350 regular cab trucks with a utility bed. Smith said the replacement cost means the village will not have to purchase a new truck with a utility bed.

The costs will be split between the water, sewer and street departments.

Also at the meeting, Phillips reported the need to replace the south clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant. The project will cost $63,600 for parts and $2,144 for labor, he said. 

Phillips said the project will need completed as soon as possible, but the current weather is not ideal, so it will probably have to wait until the spring.

khowell@salemnews.net

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