Falls workers get pay raises

NEWTON FALLS — Village council has approved granting a 1.5 percent pay increase for 38 full-time employees in various departments.

Council gave final reading to the motion at their meeting Monday. The pay increases are effective April 8, which is 30 days from final passage.

Finance Director Anna M. Musson said the cost of the raises will be $23,600 annually.

In another matter, council defeated by a 2-3 vote a motion by 2nd Ward Councilman John Baryak to not give village manager Jack Haney a six-month contract extension.

Baryak and 3rd Ward Councilman Mark Stimpert motioned to give the notice of not extending while councilmen Joseph Battisti, Phillip Beer and Tarry Alberini voted against.

Baryak said he wanted council to look at different options for the village manager position such as a review of the contract because of the village’s declining population and less funding from the state, and to seek applicants, including Haney if he chooses, to interview for the position.

Haney’s contract expires Nov. 30 and officials must give him six months notice, or May 30, if they don’t plan to renew it or it will automatically extend for another six months, Baryak said.

“I just wanted to look at different avenues and pursue other options and show the public we are good stewards of their money,” he said.

Also at the meeting, council heard from Haney and other officials who attended a meeting recently with representatives of Windham, Ravenna and Portage County commissioners of possibly having Camp Ravenna, formerly the Ravenna Arsenal, being selected as a missile defense site. Camp Ravenna is west of Newton Falls in Portage County.

The Ohio House voted to pass a Senate resolution that calls on the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to select Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as the preferred site for a future East Coast Missile Defense system. The Ravenna facility was chosen as a possible location because of its proximity to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna and the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Council also heard from Zoning Inspector Brett Godfrey that he will be working on some Saturdays in addition to his regular hours during the busy building season in spring and summer.