WELLSVILLE - Village Council will be considering a recommendation by its claims, rules and ordinance committee to establish three part-time dispatching positions for the fire department.
The committee reviewed an ordinance Tuesday calling for up to six civilian dispatchers who will work no more than 28 hours per week at $9 per hour, with no other benefits provided.
Chairman John Morrow said solicitor Andy Beech will work with the chief on creating a job description for the positions, including incorporating some type of confidentiality clause since dispatchers will also handle calls for the police department.
The ordinance has already been ordered in by council, and the committee was clarifying its language at Tuesday's meeting.
Currently, the fire department's paid, called-out firefighters dispatch for both police and fire, and Mayor Susan Haugh was asked whether hiring civilian dispatchers will displace those firefighters.
"If the paid, called-out guys want the job, they can apply for it. They would be given first priority, I would imagine," Haugh said, adding that the fire chief would make recommendations to her on whom to hire and she would forward recommendations to council for consideration.
With Smith currently on vacation and his certification status in limbo, Haugh said it would be up to temporary fire Chief Dave Lloyd to handle the hiring until the recertification issue is resolved.
Officials hope that retired firefighters or those with firefighting backgrounds will apply for the positions, and Haugh said, "We've been approached by people interested in the jobs."
She said the dispatchers will work from a newly renovated dispatch center in the fire department.
The chief and paid firefighter Barry Podwel will continue dispatching during their regular shifts, Haugh added.
The committee also discussed legislation that will be ordered in at the next council meeting regarding implementing annual fees for rental properties, modeled after similar legislation in neighboring East Liverpool.
Morrow said council had been "kicking this around more than a year," and that Beech had recommended starting with just implementing a fee and "grow from there" in an attempt to address the "slumlord problem."
Discussion has centered around using revenue from the annual fees to hire an inspector, and committee member Don Brown estimated it should not require more than two hours to inspect a house.
Haugh said the village has strict codes regarding housing, but finding time and manpower to enforce them is a problem.
Being considered is a fee of $40 per unit up to 25, decreasing to perhaps $25 per unit for any number over 25.
Haugh said some landlords have advised her they favor a fee, saying, "Landlords who are good don't have a problem with this."
Finally, the committee discussed briefly the possibility of enacting legislation calling for a bond to be posted on all foreclosed upon properties, similar to that recently enacted in Youngstown and also being considered by East Liverpool City Council.
Morrow produced a copy of Youngstown's ordinance for review.
East Liverpool has not finalized action on the same ordinance after some questions were raised, resulting in a meeting between officials from the city and Youngstown to clarify issues.