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Lorain Council, fire union OK wage report

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LORAIN — City Council approved a wage fact-finding report Monday night that will allow the administration to create a contract with the fire department union.

Mayor Chase Ritenauer said the city is “happy” with the decision, as it was a true compromise with Lorain Professional Firefighters Local 267.

“We didn’t get everything we wanted, but they didn’t get everything they wanted,” he said. “Sometimes what happens is one of the parties rejects the fact-finding report and that can lead to problems but in this case both parties felt it was fair.”

Ritenauer said the fire union approved the report at a meeting Sunday night after already agreeing to the same hospitalization package that city workers in Lorain USW Local 6621 approved earlier this year.

Ritenauer said the city presented no raise for firefighters in 2017 and a 1 percent raise in 2018 with a contract reopener in 2019, while the fire union agreed to no raise in 2017 but wanted a 2 percent raise in both 2018 and 2019.

Ultimately, the fact-finding report, compiled by George James Van Pelt, said no raise in 2017, a 1 percent raise in 2018 and 2019.

“We thought it was a fair compromise and so did the union, so now we’re in the process of getting a contract together,” Ritenauer said.

The police union, the detention officers union and the dispatcher union are still negotiating their collecting bargaining agreements with the city administration.

Also at the meeting Monday night, City Council approved to appropriate $18,075 to demolish the city-owned Hot Waters Bait Shop along Lake Erie.

Councilman Dennis Flores, D-2nd Ward, said when Council voted to demolish the building earlier this year there were people interested in the site, and he asked if that was still true.

Safety-Service Director Dan Given said based on the proposals the city received, none were in its “best interest,” so now the city is going to raze the building and the utilities department will fence it off according to EPA regulations.

“It is not our intent to replace the bait shop at that specific location,” he said. “There are rumblings of people wanting to do something like that maybe along the finger piers. If someone came along with a workable plan we would help to get them there but what was presented to us wasn’t workable.”

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieHNix.

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