Summit County Council approved a fact-finder’s report that will give 1.5 percent raises to service and maintenance workers in the engineer’s office in 2015 but no raises in 2014. A special county meeting was called Monday night to meet a contract deadline.
The three-year contract included a wage re-opener, which allowed the two sides to discuss pay increases based on the economy. When the county and bargaining unit could not agree, the two sides hired a mediator. The bargaining unit, Local 1032 and Ohio Council 8 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has about 55 employees. This was the last of 12 contracts settled with the county.
Council also approved giving an additional $10,000 to the city of Cuyahoga Falls as part of the county’s grant to the Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Grant Program.
The attorney general’s office created the grant program to help counties tear down blighted or abandoned homes, those properties that have affected property values in the county and are deemed a nuisance.
The Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program is funded through a state and federal settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage services over foreclosure abuses, fraud and unacceptable mortgage practices.
County Executive Russ Pry said the program was launched through the attorney general’s office to assist communities in their economic recovery as one of the first steps in housing recovery. A total of $75 million was distributed among all of Ohio’s counties. The money has to be used by the end of the year.
Pry said Summit County worked with 31 communities in an effort to identify vacant and abandoned properties throughout the county, with more than 5,000 targeted homes.
County officials said $23,000 has already been used to demolish four units in Cuyahoga Falls with several other homes on the list, but the additional $10,000 approved by council will be enough money to demolish two more units.
In other business, County Council approved a new service agreement with AT&T for the next three years that will save the county $12,000 to $15,000 a year over the last contract. The new agreement will go into effect July 15. The overall savings will be 7 percent. The county already has a contract with AT&T, but county officials said the reductions were the selling point for the contract renewal. The company provides service to 2,200 lines throughout the county.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or email@example.com.