By JIM MAURER
CAREY — Carey Council is looking for an electric lineman and 4½ months of advertising for the position has resulted in no interest.
Mayor Jenn Rathburn said Monday the village’s pay for a lineman is low, compared to other areas, and she suggested an increase in the wage range.
The administration has proposed a 10 percent increase in the lineman pay, which is now $22.65 per hour at the top of the scale.
Council approved an increase to $25 per hour. The department has been operating with two people, a lineman and supervisor Jeremy Traxler. One additional lineman would help the situation, officials said.
The department is budgeted for seven people, but in recent years four employees has been the maximum employed.
Vaughn Electric personnel assist the village when necessary, Village Administrator Roy Johnson said.
Electric department personnel are required to live within 30 minutes of the village to allow for quick response time.
The pay scale will have to be adjusted for various department positions, Johnson said, and council will be provided with a list of employee wages and the wage range for various departments and positions.
Separately, council approved an emergency ordinance to lease/purchase a 2015 F-450 truck for utility and emergency work in the village.
Johnson was authorized to purchase the vehicle from Reineke Ford, Findlay, through a four-year agreement with Ford Credit at state bid price of about $59,100. The vehicle will have a “full-service body” and a 9½-foot hydraulic “V” snow plow. The state bid price will allow the village to pay $16,400 annually.
The truck will be available in about two weeks, Johnson said, in time for winter plowing. The village will purchase two other vehicles, one for public works and one for recycling. Both were included in the temporary 2018 appropriations, necessary to pay bills in the first quarter of the new year.
The appropriations were approved by council on Monday. Total appropriations are more than $18.93 million, with more than $10.8 million in the electric department. Carey purchases electricity, then distributes it to residents, who are billed by the village. Village employees maintain the electric system.
Separately, the village is moving ahead with re-implementation of a sidewalk installation program.
The effort was discontinued during the recession.
Keith Yingling, property maintenance officer, did a preliminary sidewalk audit of the village and identified 158 locations with broken slabs, missing sections or height misalignments of more than one inch, which could be a tripping hazard to pedestrians.
The list has been submitted to the public works department. The worst locations will be discussed and the first selections will be determined.
Village officials have appropriated $50,000 in the budget for 2018, Johnson said, and hope to continue the effort annually.
Also, the village continues to work with the state to be part of the online state checkbook project, Johnson said. The information is expected to be posted in the next week.
The village utility office has been getting complaints about the Central Collection Agency, which the village contracted with through June 2019 to handle income tax collections. Residents have complained about a lack of information from the agency, and the administration said collection has not kept up with what the agency said when it made a pitch for village service. The village is considering doing the collection in-house, as previously done.
The village also is looking at an update to the zoning code, last done in 1994, Johnson said, which would allow development of a new zoning map for placement on the village’s website.
Separately, a bid opening for road improvements near Continental Structural Plastics will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The work will upgrade a portion of the road for the heavy truck traffic in and out of the area.
The CSX railroad crossing on East Findlay Street will be closed for repairs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Two of the downtown bollards, the large bell-shaped objects on the corner bump-outs which were damaged by a tractor-trailer recently, will be ordered from England at a cost of $3,200. Delivery is expected in February and installation will be done in the spring.
The bollards will be bolted to the concrete, he said. The existing bollards are sunk into the concrete.
The truck driver’s insurance company will be billed for the expense.
The annual Christmas in Carey celebration will be held from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 1 in downtown Carey.
Village offices, except the police department, will be closed this Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.
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