Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht’s request to Athens City Council for a protocol for receiving compensation from overpaid city employees didn’t fall on deaf ears.
At their Monday night meeting, Athens City Council members proposed an ordinance that would establish a method of repayment for employees who had accidentally been overpaid.
Hecht outlined an initial set of guidelines for the new protocol during last week’s committee meeting.
Since, Councilman Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, changed those policies.
“This has been discussed in committee, and there has been some revisions since we last met,” Risner said.
According to Hecht’s plan, employees who were overpaid by less than $500 would not be required to repay the city.
The ordinance put forward by Risner, which would take effect at the earliest lawful moment, required that all employees would pay back the city regardless of the amount of overpayment.
Risner’s ordinance also allows employees to pay in increments or pay the lump sum all at once.
Both Hecht and Risner’s plans call for payment by the end of the fiscal year, though, to help balance out the books.
“It’s good from an auditor’s point of view and a city point of view … that departments have policies,” Risner said. “We’re on better legal grounds if we have a policy in the books.”
Other council members agreed the new regulation was necessary.
“I truly appreciate the change,” said Councilwoman Michele Papai, D-3rd Ward.
Council members also discussed purchasing road salt at Monday’s meeting.
“We’re filling up our salt bin for the summer,” said Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl.
Before purchasing salt, city officials shopped around for the best price.
“Andy Stone looked into the transportation cooperative program in Ohio, trying to get lower rates on low salt,” said council member Steve Patterson, D-At Large.
Wiehl said Stone, the director of city engineering and public works, was successful in that endeavor, securing a rate of $72 per ton of road salt.
Wiehl said the city would need to appropriate around $90,000 for the total purchase.
“It’s a reduction from what we got last year. We’re saving quite a bit,” Wiehl said.