For the Lake Township trustees, Santa this year is dressed in a dark blue uniform.
Union members of the township police department have agreed to waive a 2 percent wage increase scheduled to go into effect in 2012.
The waiver will be in effect the first half of the year.
Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, read a letter during Tuesday’s meeting from Steve Poiry, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association representative that says the union is aware the township will face a large increase next year in the cost of employee health insurance.
“This union does recognize the financial hardship this creates during this difficult economic climate,” the letter says. “The members of the OPBA do feel an obligation to help the finances of Lake Township to remain solvent and viable. Our members have discussed this issue and agree that it is in the township and OPBA’s best interest to open up the last year of our contract and renegotiate our pay increase for the first six months time period for fiscal year 2012. Our vote was in strong support to waive this 2 percent increase for six months of fiscal year 2012 and leave the remaining contract unchanged. In six months time, we, as members, would ask to renegotiate the remaining term of our contract and make any adjustments that can be agreed upon.”
Vicki Schwamberger, township fiscal officer, said the waived increase would save the township approximately $15,000-$20,000.
Richard Welling, a trustee, and Mark Hummer, the township police chief, said the union agreed to forgo the increase without being asked to do so by the board of trustees.
“This was not suggested, not requested,” Chief Hummer said. “I’m pretty proud to be a part of that group.”
The trustees also heard a presentation by its insurance representative who projected employee health insurance premium costs would increase by about 22 percent in 2012 – about 10 percent more than the increase this year.
Currently, the employee contribution rate is 8.5 percent, Bowen said.
“We’re going to have to address that,” she said.
In other business, the trustees agreed to accept forfeited property at 5594 Moline-Martin Road.
The trustees recently submitted a request with the Wood County prosecutor’s office to file a court motion to have the forfeited property deeded to the township.
Bowen said the property covers almost one acre and will be developed into a park.
Playground equipment, which has been donated to the township, may be installed at the site, she said.