CIRCLEVILLE — Circleville City Council approved several pieces of legislation during their meeting this week, including one to provide more continuity in the utilities department.

City council approved unanimously seven different pieces of legislation, one to authorize the attorney for the Charter Commission, who will be Gene Hollins, another to asses properties for nuisance abatement, another allowing local youth leagues to park cars at Ted Lewis Park during the Pumpkin Show, one to proceed with the strategic growth plan and a final to allow city workers to maintain downtown trees.

Jim Stanley, Circleville’s service director, spoke about the change within the utilities department.

“This is to create a utilities operations manager, replacing the utilities operations director,” Stanley said.

“It’s creating a protected position; it’s not at will. We’re trying to create some more continuity in the department. As many of you are aware, we’ve had a lot of service directors in the last few years and that makes it hard to get projects through. It’s hard to pick up a project and go, as I’m finding out now. The intention of the ordinance is to provide some help that’s sorely needed.”

Stanley was asked by council to confirm that the position was not a new position, but rather a replacement, which he did.

“The director position would not be filled and this position would be in lieu of that,” he said.

Prior to the city council meeting, Circleville City Council’s finance committee met to discuss eight different pieces of legislation that would be heard at the next meeting on Oct. 19.

Among them was a pair of ordinances to amend the annual appropriation ordinance, another one to increase the pay rates for part-time firefighters, two related ordinances to purchase new time-management software and two ordinances to pave the way for expending American Rescue Act Funding.

Circleville Fire Chief Brian Thompson spoke about the reasoning for the increase and gave a status update on hiring for the 18 part-time firefighters.

“Prior to when I started in 2019, it was $10 an hour for firefighter basic, $11 for firefighter advanced and $11.50 for firefighter-paramedic,” Thompson said.

“When we started to bring this program back, we did a roundtable and most of the departments around us are paying a flat $16 per hour for any certification. I figure with trying to get the process rolling, we could do something to stair step us to get quality candidates.”

Thompson outlined his plan for the part-time positions.

“My ultimate goal is 12, six-day rotation personnel and six contingents,” he said.

“Rotation personnel would work every sixth day and the contingent pool would work if one of the rotation people needed a day off and they’re required to have 24 hours within a month to stay within good graces of the program.”

Thompson said he’s hoping that by the end of the year, they’ll have brought at least some of the part-time positions on board.

“I’ve already got a draft proposal together to the safety director, so once it’s approved, it’s just a matter of advertising it and having the applications available for people,” he said.

“Part of the application process is for candidates to supply their own FBI/BCI background check and their own driving abstract, which will save us on funds and time. We’d do drug testing and a panel interview.

I wanted stuff to go in before Pumpkin Show, but things fell the way they did. I’d love to have people starting in November.”

Thompson said he’s already had some people reach out about the positions.

“It may not be full-blown by the end of the year, but I think we’ll get some good momentum once it gets going,” he said.

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