Reynoldsburg City Council on June 10 approved two new collective-bargaining agreements covering police officers and the creation of a community-improvement corporation.

Council voted unanimously to enter into two contracts: one between the city and Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9 and the other with the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. The unions represent about 50 police officers, sergeants and lieutenants.

In addition to 3% annual raises in 2019, 2020 and 2021, the agreements stipulate that officers are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week on special-duty assignments.

The agreements are retroactive to Jan. 1 and would extend through Dec. 31, 2021.

Police Chief David Plesich said the agreements allow the city to be competitive in recruitment and hiring.

Both contracts require the city to pay the cost of a $100,000 life-insurance policy and offer medical, vision, dental and prescription benefits "on the same basis as this benefit is provided to nonbargaining-unit employees of the city."

City human-resources director Sandra Boller said single coverage costs employees approximately $967 with the city picking up $7,673 yearly. Annual family coverage costs employees approximately $2,441 with the city paying $18,477.72.

According to the contract, the starting pay for police officers will be $28.28 per hour or $58,822 annually in 2019 and would increase to $29.13 per hour or $60,590 in 2020 and to $30 per hour or $62,400 in 2021.

The pay scale for sergeants under the new contract would be $51.56 an hour or $107,244 annually for 2019; $53.11 per hour or $110,468 in 2020; and $54.70 per hour or $113,776 in 2021.

For lieutenants, the pay scale would be $54.78 per hour or $113,926 annually in 2019; $56.42 per hour or $117,353 in 2020; and $58.12 per hour or $120,868 in 2021.

The contract also provides for members of both unions to be paid annual service credits of $750 if they have worked four to six years; $850 if they have worked seven to nine years; $1,050 for 10 to 14 years; $1,200 for 15 to19 years; and $1,300 for 20 years or more.

Council also approved the creation of a new Community Improvement Corp. that will "promote and provide economic-development strategies for the city" through loans, grants, tax credits and other economic incentives.

The nonprofit CIC also will act as a landbank for the city, with the aim of making sites "shovel ready," development director Andrew Bowsher said.

The CIC will start with a seven-member board of directors, including the mayor, a city council member, three at-large members from the community, Bowsher and city auditor Stephen Cicak. Both Bowsher and Cicak will act in a nonvoting capacity.

Officials said the CIC would allow for a "proactive" approach to development, particularly in areas identified in the city's 2018 comprehensive plan, such as the corridors along Brice Road and Main Street.

The city started a CIC in the late 1970s -- Reynoldsburg Economic Development Inc., or REDI -- but it was largely unfunded and underused before it went defunct about three years ago, Bowsher said.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 24, at City Hall, 7232 E. Main St.

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