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Some city employees get raises

Some Ironton City employees are getting a raise this year. Ironton City Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday night that authorized a 40 cent per hour raise for non-union city employees. The raises will be applied retroactively to January 2010.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said the money had been budgeted for the rate increase. He said he waited until June to present the ordinance to council to be sure that the city could afford the increases.

“The union employees got a 40 cent raise last year for this year,” Blankenship explained. “This is to make (their salaries) comparable. They work hard and do a good job.”

The positions receiving raises include: finance director, water treatment plant superintendent, wastewater treatment plant superintendent, benefit specialist, fire chief, police chief, street superintendent, building inspector/code enforcement officer, deputy auditor, engineering draftsman, assistant finance director, utilities administration assistant, finance clerk, finance clerk II, recreation director, payroll clerk, mayor’s secretary, economic development director, city solicitor, council clerk and dog warden.

Also at the meeting, council heard from employees of the Ohio Department of Transportation garage concerning city income taxes.

Stephen Bishop, an employee with the garage, requested that the council exempt him and other employees present from paying the city’s income taxes. He said that some employees have started paying city income taxes last year while others do not.

“I’m not saying tax them,” Bishop said. “I’m saying put us back the way we were. We don’t want to pay it either.”

Bishop further argued that some of the employees at the garage do not spend a lot of time working within the city limits.

Finance director Kristen Martin explained that the garage’s department began withholding the taxes last year, and that she has prorated the employees’ taxes for the amount of time that they spend in the city limits each year.

Councilman Kevin Waldo explained that those who work in city limits are required to pay taxes.

“I understand you’re saying it’s not fair,” he said. “But the reason it’s not fair in my humble opinion is that those people should be paying taxes too.”

In other business, the Ironton City Council also:

Passed an ordinance adopting rules and regulations at the city’s soon-to-be opened skate park.

Passed a resolution authorizing the submission of the city of Ironton FY 2010 Community Development Block Grant Formula Application.

Passed a resolution to adopt an anti-displacement and relocation assistance plan.

Heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an amended contract with the Ironton Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Heard the first reading of an ordinance to provide for equal housing opportunity in the City of Ironton.

Heard the first reading of an ordinance vacating Lewis Lane.

Heard the first reading of an ordinance amending the annual operating budget for the city.