Williamstown city workers to get raises

WILLIAMSTOWN – City council approved the employee raises following further discussion Tuesday evening.

Councilman Marty Seufer motioned to approve the raises and placed a second motion, as finance chair, to work with the city clerk and see if there are funds in the budget to give some city employees an additional raise.

“It has been a few years to give a good, meaningful pay raise to city employees,” Seufer said. “Because of the 1 percent sales tax passed last year, we have the funds to do so.”

The raises approved by council include a 5 percent increase for all city employees with an additional $2 on the hour raise for police officers.

Discussion on additional raises is for city employees set to receive a raise of 50 cents an hour. Councilman Gene Duncan believes they deserve $1 an hour more, which Seufer said he will gladly agree with if the funds are available.

“I don’t disagree with you at all. I just want to know where the money is coming from,” Seufer said to Duncan. “If we find the money, I will back it.”

Council also approved to establish a fund to allow people to donate money for the perpetual care of Armstrong Garden.

Prior to the approval, resident Dave Armstrong addressed council requesting the fund be made and funded through donation.

“I already have an anonymous donor who has given for the fund to be started,” said Armstrong, the son of former property owners Bob and Elizabeth Armstrong.

“It is very nice for you to do this,” said Mayor Jean Ford. “It is a beautiful park and so thoughtful for you to think of it to be taken care of.”

Armstrong Garden is in a former residential lot that is now home to a tree-shaded area and several small separated gardens. The property is a beautification and repurposing project for the Wood County Master Gardeners.

Seufer, who is a master gardener working on the project, said the city purchased the property, which is next to the Williamstown City Building, several years ago after it had fallen into disrepair following the deaths of the owners Bob and Elizabeth Armstrong.

After the land came into the city’s ownership, the house was torn down and the lot was empty for a while before the master gardeners teamed up with the city and the Williamstown Women’s Club to make the property an adult extension of Tomlinson Park.

“The gardens bring back a lot of memories,” Armstrong told council.