PORTAGE | The Portage City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved contracts with three employee groups.
Contracts were approved with police, street and sanitation and park department employee groups.
"I would like to thank our employees for their patience, hard work and dedication. Now it is up to the department heads to manage the contracts efficiently," said Mayor James Snyder.
The firefighters contract was approved late last year. The utility department employees contract is acted upon by the Utility Services Board, which meets Wednesday afternoon.
It is the first time in years all city contracts are in effect at the same year. The terms of the contracts are three years. The contracts also bring all city employees under the same health insurance provider, a first for the city.
In other business, Snyder announced the City Council will get a second chance to pass a park department bond issue.
Snyder said he plans on bringing a proposal for a bond issue to the council next month. That bond may be combined with a second issue Snyder has proposed for paving city streets.
Late last year the City Council voted against passage of a $3.5 million park department bond issue. The issue would have paid for improvements primarily at Woodland and Countryside parks. Other parks would benefit from some projects.
Snyder said Tuesday that most of the council has taken tours of the park and met with Superintendent Jenny Orsburn and Park Board President Ken Lorenz concerning the needs of the parks.
If a new park bond issue is proposed, it is likely to be closer to $2 million.
In addition Snyder said he wants to bring the proposal for a $1 million bond issue for street paving to the council in February.
Snyder said he wanted to meet with the council in a public workshop session prior to the next regular meeting to further discuss the bond issues and other items of concern.
The council agreed on a tentative meeting date of Jan. 25 at a time to be determined later.
The council also approved a five-year personal property tax abatement for Green Sense Farms, 6525 Daniel Burnham Drive, in AmeriPlex at the Port. The indoor agricultural business will be hiring 20 additional employees.