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Council hears more on cost-cutting PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:00 AM


Herald Editor

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DELPHOS — Delphos firefighter union representative Corey Myer gave Delphos City Council a list of proposals the bargaining unit and city administration recently collaborated on to reduce costs by $30,000 through year’s end.

The list included eight hours furlough time per pay period for all fire department bargaining unit employees, which would generate approximately $5,000. The fire chief would cover the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift and a respective employee would finish the 24-hour shift from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.


In the event an employee takes time off, the fire chief would cover 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., an employee working 4 p.m. to midnight would work at straight time, saving overtime costs, and then work midnight to 8 a.m. at the appropriate overtime rate.


Under the plan, one employee could be off shift at a time, saving the creation of an extra 24 hours of overtime; trading shift days will be encouraged when possible, saving the cost of overtime.

The fire chief has also agreed to use some of his accumulated vacation time to lower his buyout upon his retirement with the savings to be determined by the number of days used; for example: 10 days would save approximately $2,400.

Line-item reductions from the 2013 budget include: Travel Account — $1,000; Training Account — $1,540; Turn-out Account — $2,500; Professional Services Account — $3,000; Repair and Maintenance Account — $2,500; Small Tools Account — $2,000; and Building & Structure — $6,000; for a total savings of $18,540.

The final proposal is to schedule two EMS personnel per shift, with the understanding more help may be needed on certain types of calls, such as trauma, cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest. Using 75 runs per month as an average multiplied by $25 equated to a potential savings of $1,900 per month and approximately $5,600 through year’s end.

Myer said the proposal was not against the contract with the firefighters’ union because it involved the collective bargaining unit.

Former Fire Chief Wayne Suever returned to the podium to re-iterate his concern over the city not renewing fire and rescue contracts with Marion and Washington townships, citing total possible losses for the city of $123,961.

The Marion Township contract is $55,588.81 and there were an additional 66 transports in 2012 for $33,921.36 in billable services.

The Washington Township contract is $32,291.03 with an additional 43 transports last year, which generated $22,650.

Resident Mary Lou Wittler spoke on the Delphos Municipal Swimming Pool.

“Don’t close the pool to save on the budget,” she began. “Our students, children and adults need to be able to swim, play in the water, lose their fear of water, respect water and, most of all, to save themselves in water.

“Children and students learn to obey rules, respect others, obey lifeguards and respect the water. This is a carryover from family and school.

“Families swim and have fun together. How great is that? The library uses the pool for a reward for reading. The handicapped benefit and have a meet at our pool.

“What great exercise to swim, walk or move in the water. It makes your body feel good. It’s fun and affordable.”

In closing, Wittler stressed the pool is not just for Delphos.

“Our Delphos pool is an asset to our town. People come to our town from other towns to the pool, to shop, to go the grocery and eat at our restaurants,” she said. “Other towns share conversation, have fun and have a good rapport with Delphos people.”

Wittler also inquired about the Dienstberger Foundation and its generous donations in the past.

“They understand the value of our pool to all ages,” she added. “We need to make sure we keep applying for those grants.”

Councilman Mark Clement spoke on the pool.

“We need to reach out the Delphos residents and ask them to help us with the pool,” he said. “We can’t keep losing $25,000 a year.”

Councilman Kevin Osting agreed.

“We do need citizens’ help,” he said “One way they can help is to pass the quarter-percent income tax increase.”

Council passed on emergency measure an ordinance authorizing Auditor Tom Jettinghoff to enter into a contract with Medical Mutual of Ohio for the city’s health insurance needs for next year.

“This is a way to eliminate one of the unknowns for next year,” Safety Service Director Greg Berquist said. “We’ve heard interest rates could go up as much as 4o percent. This contract represents a modest 9.43-percent increase.”

The contact states that based on current information, the renewal cost for health insurance will be approximately $580,000. The cost of the health insurance benefit Health Reimbursement Account with Medical Mutual is estimated at $472,180. The cost to administer the dental/vision/hearing aid benefit is estimated at $1,080 and the amount appropriated to pay the claims is $30,282. The cost for Life AD&D benefit is an annual amount of $1,368.

Council amended an ordinance on first reading concerning increasing transportation rates. The ordinance originally read that the rate structure would be revisited each year on March 1 for adjustments equal to the previous calendar year’s increase change in the Consumer Price Index. It was amended to read rate adjustments would be revisited on June 1 of each year with changes made equal to changes in the Milliman Medical Index, which tracks the cost of healthcare coverage.

The new rates, effective Oct. 1, for rescue service emergency transportation to a medical hospital not farther in distance than 20 miles will be:

• Emergency Basic Life Support (per person/per conveyance) — $450;

• Emergency Advanced Life Support 1 (per person/per conveyance) — $700;

• Emergency Advanced Life Support 2 (per person/per conveyance) — $850; and

• Mileage (per loaded mile) — $13.75.

An ordinance reducing the salaries of elective officials by 25 percent — all paid monthly — was heard on first reading. The mayor will make $13,500 per year; the city treasurer will make $2,400 a year; the city law director will make $7,500 per year; the president of council will make $2,400 a year; individual council members will make $2,250 a year; and the city auditor will make $7,500 a year.

If passed, the ordinance will not take affect for any office until the person now holding the position is re-elected or replaced.

Council suspended the rules on an ordinance to transfer $41,000 to the Police Pension Fund and $34,000 to the Fire Pension and passed it on second reading to bring the funds to a positive balance.

Council passed on third reading a resolution accepting the amount and rates as determined by the budget commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor.

In other business, council reviewed an ordinance proposed by Councilman Josh Gillespie to cut the pay salary for the safety service director by 20 percent and department supervisors by 15 percent.

Councilman Osting said the amounts were excessive, employees would look for other jobs and the city would have a hard time replacing them at those rates.

Three of the five German cultural exchange student staying with host families in Delphos were introduced to council. They included Marie Horstman, hosted by Julie and Roger Orroyo; Charlotte Klotz, hosted by Kellie and Derek Sterling; and Jacob Thomas, hosted by Judy and Gary Mack.

Exchange Student Program Director Rick Hanser presented the students with “Reflections” books about Delphos. They each got up and spoke to council, thanking everyone for having them and saying they were having a great time and learning a lot about Delphos and America in general.

Students Merle Kampwirth and Madeleine Muller were unable to attend. They are being hosted by Ginger and Gene Denman and Amy and Dennis Youngpeter, respectively.


German cultural exchange student Jacob Thomas, left, Charlotte Klotz and Marie Horstman were special guests at Monday's council meeting. (Delphos Herald/Nancy Spencer)

Last Updated on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:57 PM

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