LH Council approves non-union employees 2019 salaries and wages 

LOCK HAVEN — City Council approved an ordinance which would set the salaries and wages for non-union employees of the city for the 2019 fiscal year.

Salaries and wages as well as benefits such as healthcare insurance make up the majority of the city’s General Fund.

City Manager Gregory Wilson previously reported in a budget preview to council that the city will see an 8 percent increase in health care insurance premiums in 2019.

To offset this cost, employees will now contribute 6 percent of their wages towards their health care and dental premiums, Wilson said.

The ordinance was approved by unanimous vote through a motion made by Councilman Richard Conklin and seconded by Councilman Bill Mincer.

This is the first reading of the ordinance and will be finalized on Dec. 17 with the rest of the 2019 City Budget.

Members of the Clinton County SPCA requested support in the 2019 city budget at last night’s city council meeting.

Shelter Manager Crissy Lehman said the SPCA sheltered approximately 360 various animals in the last year.

All of these animals were able to receive medical care, food, shelter and some were able to be adopted or returned to their owners as well, she said.

The shelter can house up to 19 dogs and five cats and has spent the majority of the year at maximum capacity, she said.

It costs an average of $6.17 to care for each animal per day, she said.

The total average amount spent each day on both the animals as well as cleaning and staff averages over $500, she said.

Lehman also spoke about the trap, neuter, return program that the SPCA has been involved in as well.

So far in 2018, 250 cats were captured, neutered which brings their overall total to over 2,000, she said.

“This program will continue to reduce the overpopulation of stray and feral cats,” she said.

Lehman requested the city allocate $10,000 to the organization as they did in 2018.

“We thank you greatly for the funding last year,” she said. “It is with the help of the city … that we’re able to provide these services within the county.”

In other business:

– Mayor William E. Baney III requested the city solicitor look into the city’s open container ordinance.

Baney read the ordinance which state, “It shall be unlawful in the city for any person to drink liquor, malt or brewed beverages upon any public street, public sidewalk, public municipal parking lot, private parking lot open to the public use or public park or in any vehicle being operate there in.”

“Some groups that I know would like to have alcohol to be purchased and not confined to a specific area,” he said.

Baney was curious if council would be able to waive the ordinance to allow organization to sell alcohol during a public event that may take place in one of the areas listed.

– Requested the use of county aid $201.92 from Clinton County’s liquid fuel fund to pay for the Route 220 Interchange lighting.

The city previously requested $4,000 but were unable to repair the lights with just that amount, Wilson said.

– Continued a 2019 budget session after the meeting adjourned.

Last night’s session focused on public safety, including police, fire and codes, zoning and blight remediation.