TIPP CITY — Tipp City Police Officer Phil Osting Jr. has been named 2022 Tipp City Police Officer of the Year.
Mayor Mike McFarland and the council recognized Osting during the Monday evening, April 3, Tipp City City Council meeting. Osting joined the Tipp City Police Department in 2021, McFarland said. He previously worked as a deputy sheriff for the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and served for 15 years as an officer with the Covington Police Department.
“Whereas, nomination statements from Officer Osting’s selection included statements praising his attitude, dedication to the department and community as well as his work with Tipp City Schools. Whereas, after one year of service as an officer with the Tipp City Police Department, Officer Osting is one of the most upbeat, kind, selfless and reliable officers within the department,” said McFarland during a proclamation recognizing Osting as Officer of the Year.
In other business, City Council also OK’d modifying a chapter of the city’s codified ordinances and a resolution to approve a contract with Brumbaugh Construction Inc.
Council approved the following modifications to chapter 37 of the city’s codified ordinances: municipal employment of the codified ordinances of the city of Tipp City. The first modifications were made to the definitions and titles of employees not under the collective bargaining agreement. A change in titles and addition of positions under non-bargaining unit positions; from assistant fire chief/fire inspector to assistant chief of emergency services, the addition of emergency services (fire and EMS personnel) and the addition of a water/wastewater foreman.
Under chapter 37.05 the amendment added definitions of dual-certified employees, emergency medical technician and volunteer emergency services employees.
Dual-certified employees are defined as, “an employee working in the emergency services department that is certified as a fire fighter and either as a paramedic, EMT advanced or EMT basic.”
Emergency medical technicians are defined as, “an employee working in the Emergency Services Department that is EMT certified but not certified as a firefighter.”
Volunteer emergency services employees are defined in the amendment as, “an employee that does not work a regular schedule.”
Under chapter 37.26, the amended ordinance now includes an explanation of what constitutes as “overtime” in the department. Under this addition, full-time employees of the department will earn overtime for the hours worked in excess of a regularly scheduled work week that is established by the city.
Council also added more specific information to the section 37.32 regarding holiday and personal days. Those in the emergency services department are entitled to receive time and a half for work on holidays plus eight hours of holiday pay. The ordinance also includes instruction for personal leave and vacation for permanent part-time employees and dual-certified employees. The ordinance also includes additions of how specific employees, based on how long they have been in service in Tipp City, can accrue vacation time. Vacation time is accrued on a bi-weekly basis or each pay period.
This ordinance, adding and changing chapter 37: Municipal employment was approved in a 5-2 vote during Monday’s meeting. President Kathryn Huffman and Council member Ryan Liddy voted against the ordinance.
The next ordinance, also approved in the same 5-2 vote, modifies the pay scale outlined in 37 of the codified ordinances of the city of Tipp City. The following amendments were made; adds dual-certified emergency services staff, specifies the pay scale for dual-certified captains, updates part-time and volunteer emergency services employees pay to include time and a half for their work on holidays, changes the stipend for volunteer/part-time staff from $50 to $100, bi-weekly, for volunteering for “on-call” status during the bi-weekly pay period, changes the pay scale for all employees of the department to increase the minimum and maximum hourly wages — the wages earned are based on one’s certifications and position within the department and adds in a Saturday and Sunday shift differential of 30 cents.
“I would just like to say that I do not support this ordinance,” said Huffman. “I know this projects a deficit for us. There’s been a lot of conversation, I’ve shared my opinion on this several times, both on the dais and in our work sessions and with the city staff. I think this is an overreach for what is needed in the city right now. I fully support hiring on full-time fire (personnel), supplementing with part-time employees. I advocated for keeping the volunteers which has been a long-standing part of our department here. But, I think the fact that we’re moving ahead with a department that’s projected to take us into deficit, even after borrowing over money from the Capital Improvement Fund, isn’t something that I can support.”
The council then voted to approve a contract with Brumbaugh Construction Inc., of Arcanum, for the Tipp City Government Center Renovation project at a cost of $1,832,000.
According to City Manager Timothy Eggleston, Brumbaugh Construction presented the city with the lowest of five different bids. The council approved the contract in a 5-2 votes with Huffman and Liddy voting against the resolution.
While the project was bid for just over $1.8 million, $90,000 of that is for contingencies. Currently, the city has budgeted $1,474,000 for the project, which leaves a remaining $268,000 needed to fund the project. According to Finance Director John Green, council has $150,000 remaining from the annual asphalt re-paving project that could be used to help fund the renovations for the Government Center. For the remaining $118,000, Green presented the option of borrowing the money from the general fund until 2024 when repayment to the general fund can be included in the 2024 capital improvement fund.
“I would just like to say, I’m going to be voting no on this,” said Liddy. “My understanding is that this is a pretty comprehensive package that the city has put together including; the roof, windows, sills, insulation, HVAC improvements, finance office remodel, I do support all of those renovations in the years 2023 and 2024. But for the largest expenditure of $750,000 for the addition, I cannot support. The reason I cannot support that is I do not believe that we have adequately expanded upon what we can do as far as our storage is concerned. I think it’s a little bit shortsighted when we could be expanding the building west instead of $750,000 in closing the gap … I do support all of the other renovations, it’s obviously needed. I don’t necessarily believe that that addition is needed at this time.”
Huffman concurred with Liddy’s opinions on the renovation plans.
“This was raised when we considered this for the CIP a couple years ago. I shared the thought that I felt like that addition was holding me back from being fully behind this project. I think it’s a lot of money, $1.8 million is a lot to spend right now in consideration of the other priorities that we have for the community,” said Huffman.