Three-year deal provides 3-percent raises for officers | ThisWeek Community News

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Three-year deal provides 3-percent raises for officers

Council finance committee also looks at options for obtaining new fire truck

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Grandview Heights City Council Sept. 16 approved a three-year contract with the city's police officers.

Under the agreement, police officers will receive a 3-percent pay increase in each of the next three years, beginning Dec. 25, 2013.

The union voted Sept. 1 to accept the contract.

Officers will continue to pay 15 percent of their health and dental care insurance premiums with the city continuing to pay 85 percent.

The new contract again contains a provision that auxiliary officers can be used by the city to assist with police officers' assigned job duties or for special duty activities, provided those opportunities are first offered to the police officers.

New language was added, however, which states auxiliary officers cannot be used for any purpose if a police officer position is eliminated or the officer is laid off.

The only other major change in the contract is a provision relating to an officer's option to take compensatory time off in lieu of overtime payment.

The contract now states that if the request for compensatory time is made at least seven but not more than 45 days in advance, it cannot be denied solely because approval may result in scheduling another officer to work overtime.

City Council's finance committee met prior to the regular council meeting and heard a report from financial consultant Brian Cooper about potential capital finance options for the purchase of a new fire truck.

The city has received a quote of $439,000 for the truck and Huntington Bank, the city's bank, has proposed terms for a leasing option, Director of Finance Bob Dvoraczky said.

Council had asked for alternate options, which Cooper researched.

Finance committee chairman Anthony Panzera noted Cooper's report was for discussion only at this point and no action item regarding the purchase or financing of a fire truck is imminent.

Huntington Bank has offered the city terms for an "as-needed lease program" it could use for individual capital purchases, Cooper said.

He said he researched and compared the details of five-year terms for the lease option with those of capital market and direct placement options based on the city's AA-plus rating.

The latter two options "would be a true issuance of bonds," Cooper said.

All rates "came in relatively close," he said. The rates would be 2.5 percent for the lease option, 2.25 percent for capital market and 1.98 percent for direct placement.

Because of its lower rate, the direct-placement option would mean a slightly lower annual payment of $93,750, Cooper said. The lease option would have the highest annual payment of $95,260.

The lease option would give the city the ability to pay off the lease at any time at 102 percent, while the other two choices would be non-callable, meaning they would each have to be a five-year deal, he said.

That said, if the city were looking to finance the purchase of a fire truck rather than paying in cash, he would recommend the direct-placement option, Cooper said.

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