Rocky Fork Enterprise

Local 9110

Gahanna council mulls three-year deal with labor union

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Gahanna City Council is considering a three-year labor agreement with the United Steelworkers Local 9110.

The agreement between the city and United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International would be effective upon passage through Jan. 1, 2017. It includes a 1-percent wage increase effective July 1, a 2-percent increase effective Jan. 2, 2015, and a 2-percent increase effective Jan. 2, 2016.

Human-resources director Sue Wadley said 29 employees are under the bargaining unit: a code-enforcement officer, two deputy clerks of court, nine equipment operators, a facility maintenance coordinator, three fleet technicians, a forestry technician, a parks and recreation facilities foreman, a parks and recreation foreman, a police secretary, a streets foreman, three utility billing specialist, two utility foreman and three utility technicians.

Wadley said the United Steelworkers agreement expired Jan. 2, and the bargaining committee negotiated and reached a deal that both sides agreed to recommend for ratification to their respective parties.

The union's members voted to ratify the new labor agreement Tuesday, March 17.

 

Council considering CRA tax abatement

Council also is considering legislation to authorize the mayor to enter into a Community Reinvestment Area tax-abatement agreement with Eastgate Partners for property at 1801-1831 Deffenbaugh Court.

The project would result in an 80,000-square-foot facility that could accommodate a variety of uses that include manufacturing, warehouse, office and wholesale retail operations. It would involve a total investment of $2,925,000 by Eastgate Partners.

Gahanna would grant Eastgate a 75-percent real property tax exemption pursuant for a six-year period, starting in the first year for which the real property exemption would be taxable were that property not exempted from taxation.

Development director Anthony Jones said this type of facility is prevalent within the city's Eastgate Industrial Park.

He said nine buildings are within close proximity to the project site and are designed to accommodate similar uses as the proposed project.

All of the nine properties have a combination of office, warehouse/distribution and/or manufacturing space. Although the building sizes for the nine properties vary, this building type is appropriate for the Eastgate Parkway Industrial Park, Jones said.

He said the project is unusual compared to past projects because it is being built on speculation, with no defined users secured for the space.

Because of this, Jones said, it is challenging to specifically identify the number of jobs that would be created as a result of the project.

In an effort to identify the potential employment figures that the market could support for this project, the applicant completed a survey of tenants at two comparable buildings within central Ohio.

Based upon the survey and additional discussions, Jones said, the applicant is willing to commit to at least 30 jobs over the next four years.

Ten new full-time permanent job opportunities would be created by Dec. 31, 2016, with another 10 full-time permanent jobs by Dec. 31, 2017, and another 10 full-time permanent jobs by Aug. 1, 2018.

Jones said the increase in the number of full-time employees would result in about $750,000 in annual payroll.

In an effort to mitigate the risk of the building being built on speculation with no defined end user, the applicant would be required to make an annual payment of $6,000 during the term of the six-year abatement period. This abatement term is the shortest term that has been provided by the city for new construction projects, according to Jones.

The project would begin Sept. 1, with all acquisition, construction and installation to be completed by Jan. 1, 2015.

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