Commissioners approve two union contracts

February 7, 2013

WAYNESBURG – Greene County commissioners Thursday approved two contracts previously ratified by employees of the county’s domestic relations, adult and juvenile probation office and caseworkers with Children and Youth, Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Drug and Alcohol, the later groups working under the umbrella of the county’s Human Services Department.

The 12 court-appointed employees and 30 caseworkers are represented by the United Mine Workers of America, AFL-CIO.

The four-year agreement calls for an increase of 75 cents an hour for the first three years and a 60-cent per-hour increase in the fourth year.

The rate for new hires in those offices will be frozen for the first year. The will be eligible for the rate increase in the second year.

As expected, the commissioners approved making a $10,000 contribution to the Dunkard Valley Municipal to help offset the cost of installing a new 1,000-foot water line in the area of Penn Pitt.

Commissioner Archie Trader said no contribution would be made, however, until the county solicitor and controller review the details.

The county’s decision to offer financial assistance to the authority comes at a time residents of Greensboro and Glassworks have been dealing with ongoing issues with water service.

Service outages have become fairly common for the authority during the last few months. There have been about 20 leaks to repair since October.

The authority has made some recent upgrades to its treatment plant but it doesn’t have the resources to replace the distribution lines. The authority engineer has estimated replacing the 20,000 feet of old line that should be replaced will cost about $1.5 million.

The immediate concern is to raise about $25,000 to $30,0000 to replace one section of line that has been constant trouble. That is the section of line for which the county’s money has been earmarked.

The commissioners also awarded a $28,000 contract to Higgins Hauling of Waynesburg to repair a water leak problem at the pool at Wana B Park in Carmichaels.

In October, the commissioners learned that major repairs were necessary. Jake Blaker, director of the county’s recreation department, had reported significant damage has occurred to the gutter system around the pool. He said the pool has settled over time, cracking the welds in the gutters that has caused leakage.

Blaker told the commissioners Thursday the project will involve removing 60 feet of sidewalk where the gutter is attached to the pool. He said work should begin March 1 and be completed by the first of May.

Jon Stevens was the Observer-Reporter’s Greene County bureau chief. During his 41 years with the O-R, he covered county government, courts and politics, and won statewide and regional writing awards.

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