WARREN City will hire new workers

The city is still on a shoestring budget, the mayor says, and will not use new tax dollars to hire the employees.
WARREN -- The city plans to fill six permanent positions and hire six part-time employees, but says it hasn't abandoned its conservative spending practices.
Job descriptions have been posted for six full-time laborers in the operations department and six part-timers. Their pay will be funded by the health department.
Mayor Hank Angelo said none of the full-time positions is new.
Money has already been appropriated for three of the full-time positions, he said, and prudent spending means there are sufficient operations funds to cover the other three.
Angelo said he will need an appropriation from city council to hire the part-timers, who will catch up on grass cutting, which Angelo said, has become a liability.
Lawsuit: The city lost a $389,000 lawsuit before Angelo was mayor because grass was not cut at an intersection and contributed to an injury-causing car accident.
The city maintains several intersections and owns more than 400 pieces of property that need to be mowed, he said.
Voters in May approved a 0.5 percent temporary income tax increase to boost safety services. Collection doesn't begin until August.
Rumors that the city is using some of that money to hire outside the police and fire departments are untrue, the mayor said. "We will not be touching any new tax dollars to hire these employees," Angelo said. "That money will be used for police and fire only."
The police and fire chiefs are working to boost their departments, understaffed by 2000 budget cuts.
Despite passage of the tax issue, Angelo said, the city is still not financially solvent.
"There's no question we're still working on a shoestring budget," he said. "We're committed to watching our spending."

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