Economic Development Commission, Employee Pay Raises Approved by Swanton Village Council
The Third and Final Reading of an Ordinance designed to allow the formation of an Economic Development Commission (EDC) was unanimously approved at the September 12th Swanton Village Council meeting. and will take effect in approximately 30 days.
The Ordinance read, in part: This new Commission would provide input from all aspects of the Swanton business community and be representative of the business community and residents of the Village of Swanton. The members would provide a sounding board, researching and analyzing issues affecting economic development in the Village.
The duties of the EDC shall include: Make recommendations on matters relating to the improvement of sound economic growth and business development in the Village. Examine opportunities for fostering an attractive climate for businesses within the Village with respect to both existing and potential new business establishments. Recommend additional steps and measures to promote economic growth by retaining businesses and attracting new commerce and industry. Cooperate with Village officials and staff to realize appropriate goals and objectives relating to sound business practices and better employment opportunities.
The Ordinance will take effect in approximately 30 days and members for the Commission will be chosen.
Emerging from a lengthy Executive Session, Council also unanimously approved pay increases for employees of the Village. Mayor Neil Toeppe, addressing the need for the pay raises, issued the following statement:
“As has been common, council authorized hiring three new firefighter/EMTs, contingent on background checks, physicals, and drug screens. The reason that nearly every month we hire new firefighters is because there are a lot of turnovers in the department. Primary among the reasons for the turnover is pay. Often, we get new hires in all departments that get experience here and then move on to departments in Toledo, Lucas and Wood Counties.”
“The Village Administration and Council have been working for several months to try to find a way to slow the turnover. The Village Finance Director and Council took a very serious look at our finances and determined that the Village budget could afford to increase pay to a level that would help us retain our employees. It was determined that our current budget and revenue streams could absorb a 12% increase for most employees and a 6% Increase for others.”
“Currently a firefighter’s base pay is about $15.75 an hour. This is about what some may earn at a fast-food restaurant. A 12% increase will bring that pay to $17.64. While this still does not put us on par with Lucas and Wood County it will help us retain employees and attract others.”
“During this compensation review Council clearly wanted to be assured that this pay increase could be absorbed within our current financial situation. But like everyone else, we are seeing our costs increase for everything and we are working very hard to operate within current financial constraints.”
Pictured: Swanton Village Council Meeting as seated L to R: Councilman Derek Kania, Councilman Dave Pilliod, Councilwoman Diane Westhoven, Administrator Shannon Shulters, Mayor Neil Toeppe, Finance Director Jason Vasko, Councilwoman Sam Disbrow, Councilman Mikey Disbrow, Councilman Patrick Messenger