Oregon extends police union contracts for a year

        Oregon City Council last month approved one year contract extensions with the Oregon Police Command Officers/Fraternal Order of Police and the Oregon Police Patrolmen’s Association due to the economy. Their current collective bargaining agreements will expire on June 30.
        The contracts do not include raises due to the economic downturn, said City Administrator Mike Beazley.
        “Essentially, no increases across the board,” he said.
        “This year, all our contracts are up,” added Beazley. “Our general approach is going to be to extend all of the contracts for a year, with an asterisk and one exception. The asterisk is we’re going to extend the contracts as is, but with the knowledge that the administration will have the option every 90 days to reopen to deal with economic issues should the economic downturn cause the need to approach our bargaining units for some significant changes. We initially discussed a straight extension for a year, but we don’t know whether things will be worse than we feared, or as bad as we feared. But we can reopen every 90 days to deal with economics.”
        The exception is that the city is beginning the collective bargaining process with the part-time fire association.
        “We’ve got some broader issues we think we need to deal with for community safety. We’ll begin the bargaining process very soon,” he said.
        Police Chief Mike Navarre lauded the unions for accepting the extensions.
        “Both associations should be commended for their willingness to recognize the situation we’re in, not only going along with the one year extension, but giving the administration the latitude to reopen the economic issue every 90 days,” said Navarre.
Sewer grant
        Also at the meeting, council approved an application for Water Pollution Control Loan Funds available through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance as well as loan agreements, for the construction of the Oregon Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project - Phase 5 Part A. The project is needed to ensure the structural integrity of existing sewers and to remove groundwater infiltration from the sewer collection system.
        The project will include the lining of 10,125 feet of 8” sanitary sewer, including sewer laterals and manholes, in the South Shore Park subdivision north of Bay Shore Road.
        The project will be funded with a $450,000 grant and a $450,000 zero percent loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC), and a low interest loan through the Ohio EPA.
        The Ohio EPA makes funds available through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund to provide financial assistance to communities needing to make such improvements.
        Public Service Director Paul Roman said the project would likely start in the fall.
        “We still have to get final grant approval from the OPWC by August. It’s likely we’ll go to bid in October or November, and it will probably take a year to construct,” said Roman.
Starr Ave. project
        Council also accepted the $967,345.45 bid of the Shelly Company, Findlay, for the Starr Avenue Improvements project.
        The city received grant funding from the Federal Highway Administration through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for resurfacing 1.59 miles of Starr Avenue from S. Whittlesey Avenue to S. Lallendorf Road. The project will also include ADA curb ramp upgrades and striping in which ODOT will reimburse the city for 80 percent of the eligible costs up to a maximum of $400,000.
        The city also received $300,000 in grand funding through the OPWC for the construction of the project.
        “It’s scheduled for this summer, so we’re on track,” said Roman.
        He added that he received four bids on the project.
        “The Shelly Company was the lowest and best bid. The Shelly Company has done a lot of other work for us in past years and has done a very good job.”
        Also at the meeting, council:
        •Authorized the application for a grant from the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act. The grant provides a 50 percent match for the purpose of purchasing new armored vests for police officers in 2020-2021. The city has annually applied for grand funding under this program since 1999 for the replacement of bulletproof vests for police officers. Last year, the city received a $4,427 grant;
        •Approved a purchase order from D.R. Ebel Police & Fire Equipment, Northwood, for police vehicle equipment purchases and changeovers for the police division;
        •Approved an agreement with Superior Uniforms of Toledo to provide police uniforms and supplies as required by the collecting bargaining agreements entered into between the police unions and the city.


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