Archived Story

City moves closer to raising fee

Published 11:43pm Saturday, March 10, 2012

A $14 per month municipal fee is at the center of a proposed budget ironed out Saturday after a two-and-a-half hour, closed-door meeting of the Ironton City Council.

Council chairman Mike Lutz said the elected leaders may meet as early as Wednesday to give first reading — and possibly even passage — to a budget that increases the city’s municipal fee from its current $8 to $14 from April 2012 to April 2013. After that the fee drops to $11 per month.

The proposal requires employees to begin paying 7.5 percent of their retirement pickup, an expense they currently do not pay into. But employees will continue to pay only 5 percent of their health insurance premiums.

“This assumes the unions will accept the same benefits as non-union employees,” Lutz said. “If they don’t, there will be layoffs.”

The new budget would also reduce the salary for the economic development director from approximately $19,600 to $15,000 but keep the benefit specialist position in the budget.

It also keeps the assistant finance director’s position — currently budgeted at $41,760 annually — despite the fact it was a job some council members had said should be scrapped in an effort to save money.

Also, the budget funds the police dispatching department only until June. After that, no money is appropriated.

Although the county commission has nixed plans for the county’s 911 center to take over the police dispatch service, Lutz said the possibility of handing these duties to the sheriff’s office remains.

Under this proposed budget, the city will end 2012 with a carryover of $140,000 but a carryover of $420,000 at the end of 2013.

“We have worked diligently for four months and council, for the most part, has come together in agreement to keep the city afloat,” Lutz said.

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