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Liverpool OKs police pay increase

EAST LIVERPOOL — City council unanimously agreed to increase its starting pay for certified full-time police officers; however, it doesn’t look like it will be happening soon due to union opposition.

During Monday’s meeting, councilmen approved an amendment to a 2017 agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29, eliminating the lower two tiers of compensation for entry-level patrolmen before administering another test soon.

Certified police officers, who are defined as those who have completed their education at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA), will see a pay increase of $3.43 per hour to make their compensation more competitive with neighboring communities.

Senior patrol officers earn up to $23.10 per hour based on their years of service.

The $10.80 per hour for non-certified officer remains for officers who have not completed OPOTA.

The agreement stated that officers currently at the lower pay rank will remain there until a new officer is hired, according to city officials. However, Councilman Fred Rayl, who also chairs the finance committee, council’s vote for the legislation Monday was “irrelevant,” as the union wouldn’t sign the final document, which included additional language not originally said to have been agreed to.

Attempts to contact Chuck Wilson, spokesman for the FOP Lodge 29, for comment or clarification were unsuccessful as of Tuesday evening.

Council also approved legislation to participate in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Cooperative Purchasing Program for the purchase of rock salt; enter into a three-year economic development revolving loan fund agreement; and regulate overseeing vacant buildings within the city and land installment contracts.

Chaney Nezbeth of the Way Station addressed the meeting during the personal privilege portion and updated council on both the non-profit’s capital campaign and programming offered to residents in the area.

Committee chairmen announced the following upcoming meetings in council chambers during April: playgrounds and recreation, 3:45 p.m. April 13; utilities, 4:15 p.m. April 13; finance, 3 p.m. April 27; and economic development, 5 p.m. April 28.

Council President John Torma also scheduled a second council meeting for 6 p.m. April 19 in council chambers, which will be preceded at 5:45 p.m. by a special finance committee meeting.

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