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Toronto council discusses employee raises

December 10, 2013
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

TORONTO - Raises for some city employees were discussed during Monday's City Council meeting.

Council voted 6-0 to give a $1 per hour raise to some city employees effective Jan. 1. The positions included police dispatchers, the police chief's secretary and clerks in the auditor's, treasurer's and mayor's offices along with the city custodian.

The raises were granted by council after being recommended by the finance committee. Mayor John Geddis said the city coffers were healthy, and employees deserved the raises.

"We're fortunate that we have a carry over," said the mayor. "I'd like to thank all for staying within our budgets and ending the year in the black. A lot of these employees don't make what they would in the private sector. Some of them haven't had a raise since 2009."

Council also voted to give city employees $200 gift cards as a holiday bonus.

In other matters:

Geddis said the city's waterline replacement project was proceeding faster than expected considering the recent inclement weather, adding the major overhaul still had a long way to go. He said some residents had called with complaints, but the mayor warned there was much more to come.

"It seems like we've done a lot, but we're only 15 to 20 percent into getting this project done," Geddis said, adding most of the work would be completed in the spring. "Any time there's progress there is going to be some inconvenience to people."

Geddis said any work on the Titanium Way bridge would likely be delayed until 2016 due to environmental studies that must be completed. Geddis added demolition of the former Blue Danube Tavern would be delayed until an asbestos study is completed.

Second Ward Councilman Dorothy Blaner, chairman of the finance committee, said the committee was recommending the city purchase three additional picnic tables for Newburg Landing Park after a suggestion by member of the River's Edge Garden Club. Members of the club maintain portions of the park. However, council took no action on the matter during the meeting.

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