Tipp City Council OKs adding law director position


By Amantha Garpiel

For Miami Valley Today

TIPP CITY – The Tipp City City Council approved the addition of a full time law director position, among several amendments of ordinances regarding work weeks, 2023 appropriations and to a chapter 34 of the Codified Ordinances to include non-bargaining municipal employees.

During the Aug. 7 meeting Tipp City City Council passed an ordinance with a 4-3 vote that allows departments, if the majority of the department agrees to the change, to move to a four-day, 40-hour work week. According to City Manager Timothy Eggleston, the change can be used as incentive for non-bargaining employees as Tipp City, in some instances, cannot offer wages that compete with those of nearby areas.

“Some communities are going to this to be able to be proactive and get ahead of the curve,” said Eggleston.

Should a department of the city wish to make the change to a different schedule, the department is required to create an administrative plan to outline how the schedule change would work and how the department will continue to serve the public.

One concern was raised by Council President Kathryn Huffman regarding the council’s current ability to allow city departments to make this change. Huffman said she feels this ordinance makes it more restrictive and creates even more concern with the various departments operating on different schedules.

The next ordinance passed by council approved an additional appropriation for 2023 and subsequently modified the 2023 annual operating budget for the city of Tipp City. This new appropriation is designated for the purchase of property located at 1400 W. Main St., Tipp City, in the amount of $400,000. The supplemental appropriation funds are to be provided from the city’s general fund.

Next, council approved three ordinances pertaining to the addition of the director of law position to chapter 34 of the Codified Ordinances as a full-time municipal employee position. All three ordinances were passed with a 4-3 vote with Huffman and members Ryan Liddy and Joanna Pittenger voting against the ordinances.

The first ordinance is for the purpose of modifying chapter 34 to amend the expected duties of the director of law. The second ordinance approved by council in the same 4-3 vote modifies chapter 37 of the Codified Ordinances for employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement to add the position of director of law. The last ordinance passed pertaining to the director of law position establishes the position’s pay and benefits schedule.

The three members of council who voted “no” on each of the three previously mentioned ordinances regarding the director of law position: Huffman, Liddy and Pittenger, unanimously agreed on why they voted no. The three agreed with a statement, originally made by Liddy, that they believe the city is best served by retaining a firm rather than a single individual. The sentiment was later echoed by Huffman.

“I think this is a bad business decision for the city. I think we’re going to incur additional legal expenses that are unnecessary and that we will not be served as well as (we are) having a firm,” said Huffman.

Also, during the Aug.7 meeting, council approved two resolutions to allow Eggleston to enter into two new agreements for different city projects.

The first resolution passed with a 7-0 vote and authorizes Eggleston to enter into a contract to purchase nine acres of real property located at 4155 Peters Road, Tipp City, for the purpose of building the city’s necessary fourth electrical substation.

The city of Tipp City has been working to acquire land for this project since 2019 and has now reached an agreement with Donald Stine to purchase nine acres of his land located on Peters Road at a cost not to exceed $270,000 in addition to any closing costs as the agreement is for the city to take care of closing costs.

According to staff, with supply chain issues, the project is estimated to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

The second resolution, also approved with a 7-0 vote, authorizes Eggleston to enter into an agreement with Performance Site Development, of Fairborn, for the Fourth and Fifth Streets Water Main Improvement Project. The agreement approved on Aug. 7 by the city council is for a cost of $812,539, the lowest of two bids received and considered by staff.

In other business, City Council:

• Approved an ordinance to vacate an alleyway that runs east to west at 30 German St., Tipp City, and is bound by five separate in lots that are owned by Ben Mosier of 937 Investments LLC. The alleyway is not used and underdeveloped. Upon the approval of council to vacate the alleyway, the approximately 1,000-square-feet of land will be divided between the multiple parcels of land that surround it.

• Approved a resolution to encourage the EPA to reconsider the new Greenhouse Gas Emissions rule making and timelines recently proposed.

• Passed a resolution to continue participation in the multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan with the Miami County Emergency Management Agency.

• Introduced an ordinance that, if passed during the second reading, will impose a moratorium for a 180-day period on the acceptance of applications and the granting of permits for new self-storage facilities in Tipp City.

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