Williamstown approves raises for employees

Williamstown City Councilmen Jim Stage, left, and Marty Seufer look over a proposed letter to be sent to the publisher of the city’s codified ordinances. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)

WILLIAMSTOWN — Pay raises for city employees in the 2017-2018 budget were approved by Williamstown City Council during Tuesday’s meeting.

Councilman Marty Seufer said the pay raises for city employees will be five percent, but some of that will go to cover an increase for health insurance.

“Basically, it is a five percent raise and then we took off the increase in health insurance rates,” he said. “We have a 50-50 debt with the employees so the amount it cost per hour that it was costing us for the insurance, we cut that half off their raise. They may not be five percent, but they are substantial pay raises.”

Seufer said the city is trying to slow down the rising cost of health insurance for the city’s employees.

“I don’t think people realize for the average employee there was an $828 increase in insurance, which is substantial,” he said.

Councilman Jim Stage made the motion to approve the pay raises and was seconded by Seufer. It passed in a unanimous vote.

Council asked if an ordinance was needed to add a stop sign on Ninth Street. City Attorney Blaine Myers said he did not think it was needed.

Seufer said the council passed an ordinance to add a stop sign on Cherry Street.

“I need to take a look at it, but my recollection is the chief of police has certain discretion to set up no parking areas and stop signs,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt to do it, but I’d have to look it up.”

Myers said an ordinance would take a month to enact with the required advertising and a public hearing.

In other matters:

* Council approved a letter to the Walter H. Drane Co. with changes to the zoning ordinances prior to codification.

* Mayor Jean Ford announced Trick or Treat will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.

* Council approved the move of Nate Snyder from part time in the parks department to full time in the maintenance department.