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Brunswick administrator: More staffers needed to work storms

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BRUNSWICK –– The capacity of the city’s Service and Streets Department has been tested this month, pushing it to the limit and Director Paul Barnett is calling for the city to hire more employees.

Brunswick works its streets with 13 employees while similar departments in Medina and Wadsworth operate with 20 and 18 staff members, respectively, said Barnett. He said Monday that he would like Brunswick to grow its Service and Streets Department to at least 18 full-time positions.

“The last 21 days was tiring,” Barnett said during a City Council meeting. “We saw the worst snowstorm we’ve seen in the area in about five years.”

The last few weeks have put a strain on the department and kept employees hard at work, he said.

“They went into 12-hour shifts and they had to work every day so far the last 21 days,” said Barnett.

As a result, Barnett presented a few hiring options to Council that could help in the future when the city faces similar issues. The department is not just stretched thin during inclement weather. The spring also brings its challenges when crews put up the plows and begin concentrating on potholes and road damaged caused by harsh winters.

Hiring six additional full-time staff members would cost about $634,800 per year while hiring four full-timers would cost about $423,200 annually, he said. Hiring six additional seasonal staff members between Dec. 15 and March 31 would cost $121,500 and four seasonal workers would cost $81,000.

Several options for hiring contractors were also presented. Council said it would be discuss its options over the next few weeks before a decision is reached.

In other news

Rotary Club President James Collins announced that the Rotary Club was able to donate a new thermal imaging camera to the fire department.

“We know the fire department has a huge task through taking care of the city and the township,” Collins said.

“So, if there was anybody worth helping, it would be the guys in the city.”

The camera that the department selected cost $8,000, but the organization had planned to spend up to $10,000, if needed.

“We hadn’t specifically done anything for the fire department yet,” said Collins. “The least we could do is ask them where we could help. We went to them and said ‘What do you guys need.’”

Money for the camera was raised through the Rotary Club’s Jingle Bell Gala in November with plans for the department to take possession this week.

“It’s always great to work with the Rotary,” said fire Chief Joshua Erskine. “We have a great relationship with all these organizations and we are always looking for ways to help each other. I think it demonstrates just how strong of a community we have.”

Contact Alyssa Alfano at aalfano@medina-gazette.com.


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