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Council gives first reading to AFSCME contract

 

Ironton City Council Thursday gave first reading to an ordinance that inks a contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 771.

The one-year pact maintains the status quo, meaning those six public works employees laid off last month will remain off the job; the remaining public works employees chose not to begin paying a portion of their retirement pickup and instead met their mandated seven-and-a-half percent budget cut through the layoffs.

Unlike the firefighters union contract, the AFSCME contract was only given first reading; council had chosen to suspend the rules and give the firefighters contract the three required readings and approved it on the same night.

“We had longer to look at the firefighters’ contract,” Council President Mike Lutz said. “We only got AFSCME’s Tuesday night. I think everyone wanted to read over it and give it some thought.”

This leaves the police union still at the negotiating table.

Council also gave first reading to an agreement with River Cities Landfill in Coalton County, Ky., for solid waste disposal. The Kentucky entity will charge the city $1.75 per ton; the contract is for two years.

Council also approved resolutions to seek state funds for the demolition of abandoned houses and to apply for Community Development Block Grant funds.

Council also appointed attorney Mike Gleichauf to the city planning committee.

Also Thursday, Lawrence County Commissioner Bill Pratt attended the council meeting and said he was interested in the city’s concerns and pledged to work with city officials.

“I’m here to help,” Pratt said.

Council member Aaron Bollinger thanked Pratt for his assistance in transferring dispatch from the city to the county sheriff’s office.

After the meeting Lutz said he was thrilled that Pratt showed up. He noted Commission President Les Boggs had also visited city council in recent months.

“This is the best cooperation that I’ve seen between the city and the county in the six years I’ve been on council,” Lutz said.

Also Thursday, councilwoman Beth Rist complimented the mayor on the city’s cooperation in getting the Transit Center opened.

“I ate at the Transit Center Café the other day,” Rist said. The food was great, it was very clean.”

Lutz said he had recently visited the riverfront and was pleased with the progress there.