Contract freezes firefighter salaries | RecordCourier.com

Contract freezes firefighter salaries

by Amy Alonzo
aalonzo@recordcourier.com

East Fork firefighters and battalion chiefs will continue to see a salary and benefits freeze after Douglas County commissioners approved contracts at their Thursday meeting in Stateline.

The one-year, $7.5 million labor agreement between the East Fork Fire Protection District and the East Fork Professional Firefighters Association that contains a salary freeze for all positions except those promoted to newly created engineer positions.

Those 12 positions will receive a promotional increase of about 7 percent.

In addition, the panel approved a one-year agreement between the East Fork Fire Protection District and the East Fork Professional Firefighters Association Battalion Chiefs bargaining unit that places a salary freeze on all battalion chiefs. About $575,000 is estimated to be saved in salaries and benefits.

The freeze will impact 54 firefighters; one inspector/investigator; one fire apparatus mechanic and three battalion chiefs, District Fire Chief Tod Carlini told the panel.

The freezes are in place for the current 2016-167 fiscal year.

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In other business, commissioners agreed to submit grant proposals to the state for Community Development Block Grants totaling nearly $900,000.

The proposals are for $539,000 for the Town of Gardnerville's Eagle Gas Station Redevelopment Project and $350,000 for Douglas County's North Valley Waste Water Treatment Plant Project.

The county in August solicited grant proposals and ideas related to potential grant-funded projects.

In December staff presented two applications for the Board's consideration: Douglas County's North Valley Waste Water Treatment Plant Project and the Town of Gardnerville's Eagle Gas Station Redevelopment Project.

The gas station redevelopment project involves converting the former gas station into a gateway for the town's Main Street district. There are 222 businesses in the district.

In addition to an information center and public meeting room, the project would add two stormwater basins to help reduce flooding and help develop surrounding parcels.

The wastewater treatment plant project includes a $7.5 million expansion to increase the plant's ability to support current and future customers. The plant is currently near capacity.

The expansion is projected to add 170 jobs, translating into $1.3 million in annual property taxes.

If the proposals are approved by the state, they will head to an advisory committee representing 15 rural counties and 11 small cities. The committee will decide how to distribute the funds. Just $2.4 million is available statewide in community development block grants.

Commissioners agreed to accept $527,000 in Federal Transportation Administration funds from the Nevada Department of Transportation for the operation of the DART transportation system.

A $234,000 matching grant is required. Funding for the match was previously put aside in the Douglas County Community and Senior Center budget.

The grant funds will assist in covering DART operations through the grant year, which ends Sept 30.

Thursday's meeting was the last for commissioners Doug Johnson and Greg Lynn. David Nelson and Larry Walsh will begin serving in January.