Hartville Council approves cost of living wage increase

Brian Lisik

HARTVILLE – Hartville Village employees will receive a 1.8 percent salary increase this year, based upon the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index (ECI).

Village Council approved the salary adjustment ordinance at its June 1 meeting by a 5-1 vote, with Councilwoman Bev Green voting against.

Green asked Fiscal Officer Scott Varney for details on the proposed salary increase.

“(The ECI-based salary adjustment) is something we have been doing (and) it is in our financial plan,” Varney said.

Green said Council should “hold off” on approving the increase until the personnel committee has completed its salary survey of 12 neighboring communities in order to assess Hartville Village employees’ current salary and benefits package.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams said that survey is not expected to be completed until August.

“I’m not sure I want to wait that long (to approve) 1.8 percent,” Williams said.

Councilman Jim Sullivan added that employees would have to be paid retroactively to June if Council waits to approve salary adjustment.

“That is a little long to wait for a retroactive (ordinance),” Sullivan said.

In other actions, council:

• Approved the appropriation of funds to hire an eighth full-time police officer. The hire is within the allowed police department staffing in the village manpower ordinance.

• Discussed paving the parking area at the former Hartville Locker property behind Village Hall, 119 Sunnyside St. S.W., as part of the village’s lease agreement with the current property owner, Tara Wiederman.

• Approved a village board of zoning appeals recommendation to allow a conditional use zoning approval for Beachy’s Flooring, at 864 W. Maple Street. Mayor Cynthia Billings said the location is used primarily for warehousing purposes, with no retail operations.