TWINSBURG -- City Council unanimously a new contract with Public Works Director Chris Campbell, whom the mayor called "an invaluable asset to the city."
"Chris is an invaluable asset to the city and Council and myself were happy to approve his new contract," Mayor Ted Yates said.
Duties for Campbell, an employee with the city for 28 years and the city's public works director since October 2011, includes oversight of the wastewater treatment and service divisions. The one-year contract, which expires Dec. 31, calls for a $75,560 per year salary.
Campbell stated in an email that he wants "to continue to review and enhance our current programs and then establish new programs and services whenever possible."
"During the past few years I have established a program to enhance our employee development efforts," Campbell said. "We have increased our job skills training as well as safety training [and] attendance at seminars. I am also working with a company in Chagrin Falls, PRADCO, that has provided training and coaching for our department supervisors and established employee review forms that are used to help develop the employees."
Campbell said the Public Works Department has started a process to upgrade the city's parks.
"We review the condition of all parks buildings, ball fields, play sets, pavilions ... on down to the garbage cans," Campbell said. "We establish the work to be performed, associated costs, prioritize the work to be performed and establish the work schedules. We've also added a few programs such as the fire hydrant painting and sidewalk leveling."
Changes to fitness center, water park fees?
City Council is considering legislation that would reset the fees for the Twinsburg Fitness Center and the Outdoor Water Park for 2017. In the new fee schedule, individual rates would increase, but families could see a savings. If passed, the membership fees would become effective March 1.
T.L. Thogmartin, TFC manager, stated in an email that several changes were made to the fee structure.
"When we created a couple's rate we did it for both younger people and seniors," said Thogmartin. "It's a little better deal than what we currently offer."
Currently, for city residents, an annual, individual pass to the TFC is $251. Under the proposed legislation, this would increase to $264 per person.
And currently, a family pays $464 if they live in the city. Under the proposed pay structure, a family of two would pay $319; a family of three $374; a family of four $429; and a family of five $484. Each additional family member would be charged $55 per year.
Currently, a family is defined as "two or more living in the same household and kids up to age 25," Thogmartin said.
"But you couldn't [previously] add grandma if she was living with the family, she needs to have her own pass," Thogmartin added.
Seniors living in the city currently pay $226 per year. Under the new fee structure, they would pay $232 annually. A senior couple would pay $287 per year. The couple's rate is a new feature, Thogmartin said.
Those qualifying for the "Senior Plus" rate would pay $166, $5 more than the current fee structure. To qualify for Senior Plus, a person must be at least 65 years old; a resident of the city, township or Reminderville; and have an annual total household income of less than $32,000.
For Twinsburg Township and Reminderville residents, individual membership fees would increase from $335 annually to $348 annually. A family of two from either the township or village would pay $411; a family of three would pay $474; a family of four would pay $537; and a family of five would pay $600. Additional family members would be charged $63 per year.
Individual senior rates for township and village residents would not change from the current fee of $308.
Another change would allow residents in the city, township and Reminderville to purchase a combined TFC pass and a water park season pass to save money.
Those living in the city who want to purchase both a TFC membership and a seasonal pass to the water park would pay $315 for an individual pass. Families would pay between $410 and $649, depending on the number of family members. A senior would pay $260 and a senior couple would pay $335 for the combined passes.
Those living in the township or village would be charged $413 for an individual for the two passes, and between $534 and $811 for families for the two passes. Individual seniors from the village and township would pay $348, and senior couples would pay $443.
City approves grant application for 20-acre parcel
City Council unanimously approved a grant Jan. 10 through the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund to purchase a 20-acre parcel of land at the end of the Creekside Drive development, which is currently vacant.
Larry Finch, director of planning and community development for Twinsburg, said the grant would provide funding for up to 75 percent of the cost. Purchasing the land would not only help preserve wetland area, but would prevent further traffic congestion at the Creekside Drive and Darrow Road intersection.
"We have commissioned an appraisal of the land value and will negotiate a purchase price based on the results," Finch said. "If the amount is too high we will not submit the application. However, there are two additional considerations: the city is also eligible for another grant that could provide most of the local match not covered by the 75 percent grant from Clean Ohio.
"Also, the property owner could benefit from a donation of a portion of the value of the purchase price if it works for their tax situation. This would mean that we could pay less than the actual value and credit the rest as a donation."
Crestwood Drive improvements approved
City Council also unanimously approved a contract Jan. 10 with Fechko Excavating Inc. for improvements to Crestwood Drive in Glenwood Acres.
Fechko Improvements, based in Medina, will be paid $1.187 million for street, sewer line and water line improvements.
"I'm really happy about this project going forward," said Councilor Sam Scaffide (Ward 1). "This will include the replacement of the water lines in there, some sewer work and sanitary and storm work, and complete reconstruction of the roadway. Once this road is complete, I believe we have two more roads in Glenwood Acres that need reconstruction and roadwork."
The two remaining roads "are on the radar," Scaffide said, adding he hoped to have the roads completed and water lines replaced in Glenwood Acres in the near future.