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Changes to pension payouts prompt service director’s retirement

11/8/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Bath Service Director Bob Wilson, a 30-year employee of the township, will retire at the end of December, ahead of pending changes to the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) pension payouts.

The Bath Board of Trustees, at the Nov. 5 meeting, regretfully accepted Wilson’s resignation for retirement purposes. Wilson’s last day is Dec. 31.

“It’s sad that we are losing some really seasoned employees, but they’re making the decisions they have to. It’s kind of frightening in a way to be losing as many as we are all at once,” said Trustee President Becky Corbett.

In his letter of resignation, Wilson said he decided the best time for him to retire was before new OPERS pension calculations kick in Jan. 7.

“I am sincerely thankful for the opportunities offered to me by the township. It has been gratifying to be part of Bath Township’s growth, seeing the road department grow from two employees sharing one pickup truck and no building to the service department we have today,” Wilson’s letter read.

Wilson is at least the fifth township employee to cite changes to the pension payouts as their reason for retiring this year. Others include Interim Township Administrator William Snow, Police Officer Scott Barb, Fire Lt. Kevin Hylbert and Firefighter Robert Motz.

Trustees also welcomed four new firefighters to the township. Fire Chief Walt Hower received approval to hire part-time firefighter/EMT trainees Cody Bennett and Michael Jones and part-time firefighter/EMT paramedics Dustin Muehfeld and Chad Warner. All four were sworn in at the meeting and are subject to a one-year probationary period. Hower said hiring these four firefighters was culmination of a process that began in March.

Police Officer Maria Lavery will move from part-time to full-time status effective Nov. 16. She will fill a vacancy left by Barb’s resignation, said Police Chief Michael McNeely.

Trustees also paved the way to hire a part-time assistant for Fiscal Officer Sharon Troike. Troike said the Ohio Revised Code allows the fiscal officer to hire an assistant and cited increasing demands from the state as justification for the new position. Trustees amended the 2012 job description manual to include a part-time fiscal officer assistant and approved posting for applicants for the position. The fiscal officer assistant would assist with the budgetary accounting program, maintaining revenue, appropriations, fund and bank accounts, as well as assist with year-end and other required reports. Applicants should have an associate degree in accounting or finance or related field, equivalent combination of education and work experiences. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 23.

In other action, the board:

• transferred $74,000 from the General Fund to the Fire Capital Reserve Fund. Trustees said they planned to transfer money to this fund on a yearly basis to accrue funds for purchase of replacement fire trucks;

• approved requisitions and regular purchase orders totaling $221,272;

• approved applying for a grant for audio and video recording equipment to be used in police interrogations. The grant has a 10 percent local match. If the grant is awarded, the township would be responsible for $499 of the $4,997 total for the equipment, said McNeely;

• approved resignations of Leah Balchaniec and Luke Singer, part-time seasonal service department employees; and

• approved the 2013 Board of Trustees meeting calendar. Trustees will continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month and at 4 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. If a meeting date falls on a holiday, trustees will meet on Tuesday.

Calendar items include:

√ Nov. 23: Wye Bridge lighting, 5:30 p.m.

The board’s next meeting will be Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. in the trustees’ meeting room at the Bath Administration Building, 3864 W. Bath Road.

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