New Castle News

October 13, 2012

Council Briefs: News and notes from the most recent meeting

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Officer hired

New Castle City Council has approved the hiring of a part-time police officer.

William B. Startzell of Wampum was sworn in as an officer immediately after council’s approval this week.

He will be paid $13 per hour and work 32 hours per week.

Truck purchase OK’d

Council awarded a contract to Trans Edge Truck Center of Pittsburgh for the purchase of two garbage trucks.

The firm submitted the low bid of $379,006 for two, 32-cubic yard 2014 Mack trucks. However, the city’s total cost for the lease/purchase will be $394,108, which includes an additional $10,940 for a seven-year warranty and $4,162 for upgrades.

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo said the trucks will be delivered in 90 to 120 days.

The vote was 3-1 with Councilman Thomas Smith voting no. He said it is premature to buy trucks if the city is considering seeking proposals for possible privatization of garbage collection.

Councilman William Panella was absent.

Settlement approved

Council approved a $2,000 settlement with Sam Holmes.

Holmes had served as a temporary employee for the city to cut grass. He filed complaints against the city when it did not rehire him for another summer.

The complaints were filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The payment will be advanced by the city’s general liability insurer and later billed to the city.

Labor agreements accepted

Council approved two memoranda of understanding with two groups of employees.

One states that the city has no intention to reduce the workforce of clerical personnel as a result of a contract with Berkheimer Tax Administrator to collect the Local Services Tax, business privilege tax and mercantile tax.

The other memorandum states that refuse workers working on holidays will be paid eight hours holiday pay and eight hours of straight pay. In addition, the starting time for refuse collection will be between midnight and 2 a.m.

The memorandum with the refuse workers will be for a three-month trial period after which the city may decide on a further course of action.

Both the clerical and refuse employees are represented by Laborer’s District Council of Western Pennsylvania, Local 964.

Mileage, sick leave changed

Council adopted an ordinance changing the mileage reimbursement for city employees.

Employees will be paid a rate that complies with Internal Revenue Service rates. This applies to city employees using their own vehicles for city business and if they travel out of town for conferences.

The ordinance also allows non-union employees to accumulate sick leave up to a maximum of 220 working days. Previously, non-union employees could accumulate up to 250 days. Those who have accrued more than 220 days as of Dec. 31, 2011, will be allowed to keep them until they use them and fall below the 220-day cap.

Subdivision granted

A subdivision involving the former Elks building property at the corner of Falls and North Mill streets was approved.

The subdivision separates an existing wall that is a remnant of the Elks building and is common to the building on an adjoining property owned by McBride-Shannon Co.

The city demolished the building last year and owns the vacant lot next to McBride-Shannon.