Dover Council approves new contract for fire department

Dover Council approves new contract for fire department
Teri Stein

Dover Fireman Austin Weaver conducts a tour of the firehouse for a group of 3, 4, and 5-year-olds from Harcatus Headstart's Learning Center. Dover Council approved a new contract for firefighters to run from Feb. 16, 2023 to Feb. 16, 2026.

                        

Dover resident Jennifer Flaherty’s T-shirt said it all – Gunnoe for mayor. Flaherty is certainly not the only one who is ready to move forward after Mayor Richard Homrighausen was found guilty of six charges, including theft in office, last week.

Homrighausen’s suspension as mayor is still in effect until he is sentenced on Jan. 17, 2023. Gunnoe will continue as interim mayor until that time. Current Council President Justin Perkowski would become acting mayor after that date.

The Tuscarawas County Republican Party Central Committee is then responsible for selecting someone to fill in for the rest of Homrighausen’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2023.

“The last two years, I think have been really difficult on the city as a whole, but also specifically some of our employees,” Gunnoe said after the meeting. “I'm grateful that justice has been served for the people the city of Dover, I'm grateful to all of our employees and the witnesses who testified in the matter. And I'm grateful for to the jury for conducting and the judge for conducting a thorough review of the of the state's case and, and ultimately making a decision on the matter. Obviously, it's been a long process. And I'm grateful for the people to Dover that they're going to have some resolution to the matter.”

Though he’s not making any announcements, Gunnoe appreciated Flaherty’s support along with that of others in the community.

“Personally, I've had a lot of support throughout all this. It's obviously been a difficult couple of years for everybody in city government. And my focus has just been on trying to do the best I can and that’s still my focus right now,” Gunnoe said. “I've gotten a lot of support from the community, it certainly is uplifting.”

During his interim mayor’s report, Gunnoe addressed concerns about proposed transitions at the Dover facility of Zimmer Biomed. Representatives from Dover, the Tuscarawas County Economic Development and Finance Alliance, and JobsOhio have been in meetings with company officials.

“Company representatives have assured our group that they remain committed to our Dover facility, and are looking toward additional long-term growth there,” Gunnoe said. “We will continue meeting with Zimmer regularly in the future to push for opportunities to create additional local jobs.”

Gunnoe also reported he attended a Parral Village Council meeting about the proposed new development.

“There was a good spirit of cooperation between both communities regarding the project and I think we all agreed of the importance of making sure this development is positive for both communities,” Gunnoe said.

Dover is seeking applications for a police dispatcher through Dec. 23. Applications are available at city hall or online at doverohio.com.

The Dover Christmas parade will be held Saturday Dec. 3, those wishing to participate can register on the city website or by calling parade chairman John McFadden at 330-343-6740.

Tod Carper from WDNP, a low power nonprofit radio station based in Dover, spoke to council and asked for their support. Another station has petitioned the FCC to put the frequency WDNP uses up for auction. The FCC is accepting public comment on the request until Dec. 8.

Those wishing to support WDNP should go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/dnp1023 and look for a post from Nov. 3, which contains a link to the FCC comment site and more information.

Council will prepare an ordinance in support for WDNP for their next meeting.

Dover Patrolman William Nedrow, the former handler for canine officer, Rex, was in attendance to hear council pass resolution 23-22 recognizing the dog for his service to the city of Dover and their police department. Unfortunately, Rex passed away in February.

Other pieces of legislation passed at the meeting included:

33-33 which authorized the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association to serve as the lead technical assistance grant applicant of the Appalachian Community Grant program in Tuscarawas County in regards to proposed Towpath trail projects.

“OMEGA has been chosen by the county commissioners to serve as the applicant, and then we would be the sub applicants underneath them,” Gunnoe said. “This is what OMEGA wanted to see to allow them to apply for the grant on our behalf.”

The first round of grant funding is due in early December for planning and development of projects. Later funds would be distributed to successful applicants for the competition of their projects.

57-22 Emergency ordinance amending Dover codified ordinance 961.01 to modify the fees for ambulance services to provide for annual cost of living adjustments, and further authorize the director of public safety or the fire chief to enter into a contract for the collection of ambulance service accounts.

60-22 authorizes the interim mayor or service director to enter into an agreement and participate in the Building Demolition and Brownfield Redevelopment Project with Tuscarawas County and the Ohio Department of Development. Areas can be redeveloped after demolition is completed.

61-22 allows the safety director or fire chief to dispose of four pieces of equipment, which are no longer needed. Listed for disposal in the ordinance is a 1991 GMC truck, a 1997 Timber Wolf trailer, 1996 Surrey Trailer, and 2003 Ford Crown Victoria.

62-22 approves a new contract with the International Association of Firefighters Local 324.

Negotiations were completed in about six hours. The terms of the contract include a 75 cent raise for firemen, $1 for lieutenants, and $1.25 for captains in the first year then a 2.5% increase for the following two years.

There are five steps firefighters can reach based on seniority and experience. At Dover these steps took about 20 years to attain.

“The state average is about seven years. So, we compressed that to 10 years total,” Gunnoe said.

63-22 creates an additional position of assistant technology administrator. The current technology department is a one-man department.

“Obviously, there's an ever-increasing amount of technology the city relies upon. The amount of information technology systems, computer systems, utility billing systems and installation always seems to be growing versus even what we used maybe 10 years ago,” Gunnoe said.

65-22 authorizes the retention of K.E. McCartney and Associates of Mansfield to provide construction engineering services for the 20th Street Bridge project not to exceed $83,758.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 with various committee starting at 6:45 p.m.


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