New Franklin Council handles emergency business
By Mike D’Agruma
NEW FRANKLIN — New Franklin City Council dealt with numerous resolutions pertaining to the city’s emergency forces at its Nov. 1 meeting.
Council first unanimously approved a resolution to apply for justice assistance program/law enforcement grant funds. According to Mark Kochheiser, assistant zoning administrator/grants coordinator, the grant funding would total about $22,000, with the city matching 10 percent, or about $2,200. He said the grant would be used to replace the six laptop computers now housed in the police department’s squad cars with technology upgrades. He added the new technology would be more up-to-date, handle software faster and provide other benefits.
“It would give us the option
to utilize wireless communication when we decide to
go do that,” Kochheiser
In other business, Council unanimously
passed a resolution authorizing the city to continue
to pick up the mandatory pension contributions of the
city’s fire department personnel who are members
of the Ohio Police and Fire Department Pension Fund.
Employees of the fire department are required to make
a mandatory contribution of 10 percent of their income
to this fund.
According to Clerk/Treasurer Kathy
Witwer, the legislation has been in place since 1988,
but a new resolution is needed as a result of New Franklin’s
recent transition to a city. The city picks up the contribution
through payroll deduction, which is not included in
the taxable gross income of the employee. For example,
if a firefighter were to receive a $1,000 check, 10
percent, or $100, would be contributed to the pension
account. The adjusted gross amount, or $900, is what
Council also authorized a similar
resolution with regard to police department employees.
Before New Franklin became a municipality, police personnel
paid their pension requirement
into a Public Employee Retirement Services (PERS) fund.
Though longtime employees can still pay into PERS, all
new personnel must now pay into the Ohio Police and
Fire Department Fund. Because two officers are affected
by this change, an additional piece of legislation for
the police department was necessary, Witwer said.
Council also unanimously approved
an appropriation of $964 to the Community Development
Block Grant Fund to provide additional funding for the
Lifeline Program, and took time on legislation concerning
the ratification of a three-year labor agreement with
the city’s firefighters due to two minor changes
that needed to be made in the contract’s language.
In nonofficial business pertaining
to the police department, Councilman David Stock read
a letter sent by local Girl Scout Troop 582 to Zeus,
the city’s police unit dog, and the rest of the
In it, the troop thanked Zeus
and the department for their continued efforts to keep
the community safe and presented $1,000 the troop and
other New Franklin Girl
Scout troops raised for the purchase of a bulletproof
vest. Though none of the Scouts were present, Council
led the meeting’s audience members in applause
for the donation.
In other business, Council:
announced the city’s
new Web site, www.newfranklin.org has
gone live; and
heard a brief presentation
from Tina Merlitti, community relations specialist for
the Summit County Executive’s Office, concerning
the Summit County Housing Rehabilitation and First Home
First Loan programs. Residents can visit www.co.summit.oh.us/executive
/dev.html for more information
on these programs.
The next regular New Franklin
City Council meeting will take place Nov. 15 at the
Administration Building, 5611 Manchester Road, with
committee meetings at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting
at 7 p.m. A public hearing concerning the amendment
of the city’s R-3 and R-4 residential zoning codes
to include a conservation subdivision overlay option
will take place at 7:30