BY JASMINE WILLIAMS
SHARON (June 14) – The Sharon Board Meeting of Mayor and Aldermen opened with allowing the public to discuss with the city board what was included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget.
The board discussed raises for full-time employees and passed the budget to include an increase in pay of 75 cents per hour for full-time water and sewer workers. Because of this, it increased the water rate to $11.30 for first 1,000 gallons used and $3.55 for any additional 1,000 gallons. The board passed this amendment to the budget instead of raising property taxes on citizens.
A discussion involved raising the pay of the full-time librarian position by 75 cents. The raises for the remaining full-time workers, including the librarian position would be because of reassessments on properties that the city is expecting to receive this year. Because they expect property values to increase, this new revenue will be used to pay for raises.
A resident asked if the police department could enforce the city ordinances, which could potentially increase the amount of money for that department.
A citizen of Sharon did ask how much the CPA firm would be paid after a new city recorder is hired. This will be dependent on how much the new recorder is able to do and how long it takes for her to become certified.
Bill Bostwick, with the Parks and Recreation department, commented on having raises for all full-time employees. He said that although he was not full time, he felt that all full-time employees should be able to receive a raise. The board agreed to revisit giving raises to more full-time employees after six months. This will allow Sharon to fully see what its profits for this fiscal year will be and if there will be enough to have raises.
The board then closed all discussions about the budget with no other questions raised.
There had been two bids given to the city to be used for repainting city hall. The bids were for power washing city hall and the Sharon Public Library and repaint both. One bid was for $3,000 in total for the project, while another bid was $25 per hour. The board decided to table accepting bids until members could think about which bid would be the best.
Sharon will also have to re-bid for the new well being installed because new forms need to be filled out.
The board also passed to have the Fire Department and Parks and Recreation Department put leftover funds into a fund savings account, which could be used by the departments as needed.
In reports from the department heads, the fire department recently conducted a drill, which was used to keep those in the department familiar with all equipment. Bill Bostwick reported the T-ball season concluded and there are plans under way for a fall T-ball league. Police Chief Jon Andrews reported the new police vehicle from Bradford has been working very well. Chief Andrews also announced the department will become very strict with ordinance violations.
During the citizen’s input, one resident asked the board what happens if a person violates a city ordinance. The person would be notified of the violation and be given a number of days to correct it and if they did not, then they would be brought to the city board, where they be fined up to $50 fine per day of the violation. Another resident asked about any ordinances against dogs. The city and state do have laws against violent dogs and dogs that are running loose.
Finally, a resident asked the board to do something that would allow more people to hear what members are talking about during a meeting as those in the back of the city hall building could not hear as well. Mayor Ali Stalter noted that a PA system could be used at next month’s regular board meeting to see how it will work and if it will allow those in attendance to be able to hear the meeting better.
In other news, the board had Tracy Williams, a representative from Globe Life, discuss a cheaper insurance policy for city workers. The new Sharon Police vehicle, which was donated by the City of Bradford for $1, was also announced.
Mayor Stalter also brought up during the meeting the possibility of creating a food pantry donation location in Sharon. This would be a box located in Sharon where non-perishable foods could be stored and residents could take and leave items as they needed.
The new city recorder was introduced during Monday night’s meeting. Rebecca Ham of Gleason was hired as city recorder. The police department also hired a new full-time officer, Cathy Whitman, who will train under Chief Andrews.