New Albany News

Plain Township

Trustees raise Collins' salary to $80K

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Plain Township trustees say Administrator Ben Collins has achieved all of his goals and will receive a raise in 2014.

"We feel he's executed our key goals and objectives for 2013," trustee chairman David Ferguson said. "The (Plain Township Aquatic Center) pool has continued to run in a positive manner even with the mild summer. The (Maplewood) cemetery master plan has been implemented in stages on a timely basis. Our legal fees have decreased due to Ben's expertise with the Ohio Revised Code.

"We've gotten some significant accomplishments from him."

Trustees voted 3-0 Dec. 4 to increase Collins' salary from $72,114 to $80,000.

The township pays $17,711 for his benefits, said Fiscal Officer Bud Zappitelli.

Ferguson said the trustees asked Collins this year to "create some real cost efficiencies" and improve "overall staffing, in terms of performance of staff," and the trustees believe he achieved both.

The trustees also approved a 2-percent salary increase for administrative and maintenance personnel, with a 3-percent maximum increase based on performance; a 2.5-percent salary increase for fire department personnel; and a 2.5-percent salary increase for fiscal office personnel.

All would take effect in 2014.

Zappitelli said annual payroll would increase from $3,614,660 in 2013 to $3,705,026 in 2014. Those figures include salaries and Ohio Public Employee Retirement System contributions.

Fire Chief John Hoovler said the fire department salaries will be reduced by 0.75 percent in July 2014 and July 2015 to account for increased pension fund contributions per state law that went into effect July 1.

The law increased employee contributions to the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund by 0.75 percent between 2013-15. Active firefighters' salary contribution rates increased from 10 percent to 12.25 percent.

Trustees approved the increase in pension fund contributions May 15 and firefighters agreed later in the year to take a corresponding pay cut.

In other business Dec. 4, the trustees agreed to set the following meeting times and dates for 2014: Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month and at 7:15 a.m. the third Wednesday of every month at the fire station, 9500 Johnstown Road.

Evening meetings will be used to conduct business. Morning meetings will be used primarily for paying bills and signing checks.

Meetings in January are set for 7 p.m. Jan. 8 and 7:15 a.m. Jan. 22, to avoid conflicts with the New Year's holiday.

Trustees will conclude 2013 with meetings at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 7:30 a.m. Dec. 31.