Archbold Council Names Thomas Ross As Police Chief

After 18 months, Tom Ross can finally drop the interim tag and be the police chief of Archbold.

The Village Council approved a recommendation to appoint him as the full-time chief. In a related move, the council also name Leo F. Wixom III as the assistant chief.

Ross has been with the department for close to 31 years.

“I started as an auxiliary officer,” Ross said in June. “I have held just about every position except chief.”

Well, add that title to the list.

Ross had been filling in while the regular chief, Joe Wyse, was out on medical leave. Wyse is not able to return to his duties and the village promoted Ross.

Ross has been filling in ably since the incident and now his assumption of the post is official.

Officer Nate Slough, a four-year veteran said the appointment of Wood comes at the right time. The department needs stability and Ross and Wixom provide that, he said.

“I don’t think anyone saw what was coming,” Slough said. “I am here to support them.”.

Refuse Collection Contract Is Up
The village will be paying $23,147 per month for refuse service in the city. With 1,743 properties, that means a per stop cost of $13.28. The customer charge will remain at $9.50.
The village would like to negotiate a new 5-year term, (the current deal expires at the end of 2017) but with a higher customer charge so it can reduce its subsidy of refuse collection. The village has spent $2.3 million over the past 10 years for refuse collection.
The council will form a committee to begin negotiations and discuss options on reducing the subsidy.

Village Permanently Bans Medical Marijuana Businesses
Citing a lack of state regulations, the Council approved a resolution (and called an emergency) prohibiting any business of a cultivator, processor or retail dispenser of medical marijuana.

Section 152.044 also denies any zoning clearance, permit or administrative approval.

Wage Scales To Be Reviewed By Outside Firm
The council approved spending of up to $20,625 for consulting firm Clemans-Nelson and Associates to conduct a Compensation and Classification Study with the goal of establishing a comprehensive wage plan for the community.

Village Administrator Donna Dettling recommended scrapping the wage ordinance following 2017 for the inherent flaws in the system.

Dettling had checked with other communities whose use the proposed system and said it would keep Archbold competitive.

The plan is set up to be reviewed every five years to make sure the pay scales are up to date. The new system will provide an improved job performance review program. Each position classification will have a pay scale developed with a minimum and maximum level, Dettling said.

The study will take six to nine months to complete and will review all existing wage standards and job descriptions to develop a modern system that can guide the village into the future and help it recruit new workers.

Residents will likely be paying more for refuse service in 2018
The council approved new per stop rates will rise from $13.13 to $13.28 and the customer charge will remain at $9.50. There are 1,743 properties with service in the village. That number has shrunk due some apartment complexes going to a single large container.

But the new term will likely mean an increase in the customer charge to help the village reduce the amount it spends subsidizing refuse service. The village has spent $2.3 million over the last 10 years on covering the costs.

Wage and Health Care Costs Reviewed
The Council will discuss the recommendations of the Finance Committee to pick up the increased premium for employees health insurance. The premium for 2017 will rise $51,374.

The village is covered by the BORMA group through 2018, but Village Administrator Donna Dettling would like to switch to Northern Buckeye Health Plan of Northwest Ohio in 2019. NBHP covers 40,000 people in the area and 140,000 statewide compared to BORMA’s 1,100 lives.

The committee is recommending a 1.5 percent increase to base-wages only, not add ons, for 2017. The health insurance premium share for workers would remain at 15 percent and 19 percent. The wage increase would mean an $35,000 total from the general fund and $5,100 for pensions. Combined with the higher insurance costs the total cost to the village rises to $91,474.

The budget is about ready to be presented to council following action by the Finance Committee.

The committee met with all the department heads at the end of November and approved all budgets presented. The council will vote on the budget recommendations Jan. 3.

“Normally we do it by the second meeting of November but we needed to review everything,” Dettling said.

Council members Vaughn Bentz and Kevin Morton said the process went well and had praise for the department heads.

“The frugal and conscientious department heads make it nice,” Bentz said.

The new department heads picked up where their predecessors had been,” Morton said.

Income Tax Report
While village income tax revenues are down from October to November, the year-to-date total is still up by 19 percent. Village officials are hopeful the total receipts can hit the total from 2006 before the economy turned south.

Heading into December the total receipts was $235,000 shy of that mark, Dettling said.

Budget Update
The budget is about ready to be presented to council following action by the Finance Committee.

The committee met with all the department heads at the end of November and approved all budgets presented. The council will vote on the budget recommendations Jan. 3.

“Normally we do it by the second meeting of November but we needed to review everything,” Dettling said.

Council members Vaughn Bentz and Kevin Morton said the process went well and had praise for the department heads.

“The frugal and conscientious department heads make it nice,” Bentz said.

“The new department heads picked up where their predecessors had been,” Morton said.

Zoning Reports
The village issued three building permits in October.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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