CLARION - Clarion Borough Council Oct. 6 ratified a new five-year labor contract with its unionized full-time police officers.
The pact provides for salary increase of 4 percent in 2022; 3.5 percent in 2023; 3 percent in 2024 and 2025 and 2.75 percent in 2026.
Clarion Borough employs eight full-time officers and a police chief.
The hourly wage for seven of those officers, all employed before June of 2017, will increase to $30.31 per hour Jan. 1, 2022, and will increase through the years to $34.20 per hour Jan. 1, 2026.
One officer, hired in 2021, will go from $24.25 per hour in 2022 through annual increases to $34.20 per hour in 2026.
The wage increases apply to police chief William H. Peck IV, although he, as police chief, is not a member of the union.
The action came after an hour-long closed door session to discuss "police matters."
Clarion Borough Council Vice-President Ben Aaron, chairing the meeting in the absence of president Carol Lapinto, said negotiations went smoothly.
(Lapinto was out of town but participated in the meeting and closed-door session via telephone.)
"I really want to thank (the police officers)," said Aaron. "We worked through a small list of asks and it was all very civil and we came to a quick agreement."
Council members also agreed Oct. 5 to advertise its intent with the civil service commission to develop a list of potential hiring list for the police department.
Aaron said an update list is needed as the borough anticipates retirements.
Clarion Borough Police Officer Shawn Zerfoss is running unopposed for the position of Clarion County sheriff in the upcoming general election. If elected, he would retire from the Clarion police department prior to Jan. 1, 2022.
Three other officers have been with the department for more than 20 years.
In other business, council:
4Issued a public reminder that the November council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Nov 1 (one day early) in the library meeting room. The change is due to the general election being held Nov. 2.
4Approved a contract with Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC to extend the audit services for the years ending Dec. 31, 2021, 2022, and 2023 for the price of $10,765, $10,980, and $11,200, respectively
4Approved the Clarion Borough Minority and Women Business Enterprise statement of goals for fiscal year 2021.
The MWBE commitment ensures minority- and/or women-owned business enterprises have unimpeded ability to compete in the procurement process at Clarion Borough.
4Approved a resolution for the Clarion Borough fiscal year 2021 Community Development Block Grant application and three-year community development plan.
4Approved the submission of Clarion Borough's fiscal year 2021 CDBG application by Clarion County to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development by or on Oct. 28.
Clarion County is applying for $107,115 for Clarion Borough. The CDBG funding would be used for reconstruction efforts along South Sixth Avenue.
4Approved change order number one for extending the time of completion for a boiler in the library building from Oct. 4 to Oct. 29. The delay is to allow for required inspections.
4Approved change order number two for extending the time of completion of building improvements from Sept. 4 Dec. 24. The delay is due to material delivery delays.
4Set 2021 Halloween Trick-or-Treat hours for 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. Residents participating in the event should leave their porch lights on.
There will be a Halloween parade this year. The parade will be begin at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at the I.C. Church parking lot. Candy will be given away at the fire hall.