TRUMBULL COUNTY Value of Cortland retention pond would be limited, report says

Service department workers were given a $1-an-hour raise.
CORTLAND -- Even a $1.3 million retention pond would have done little to help residents during flooding last month, councilwoman Diedre Petrosky told council.
However, city officials will continue to investigate grant funding for the plan to build a large pond north of town to capture some of the water that rushes down Walnut Creek after heavy rain.
The pond was discussed at the last council meeting, when residents of Tournament Trail complained about water that flooded some basements nearly to the ceiling. Tournament Trail runs along Walnut Creek, which drains more than 5,000 acres of county land.
"Even if there had been a 30-acre, 5-foot-deep pond there still would have been flooding," said Petrosky, reading from the 2003 engineering study that proposed the pond.
The pond could help during more routine floods, the kind that take place every couple of years, the report said.
However, once a pond is full it stops providing any additional benefit against flooding, said Service Director Don Wittman. The rains that caused flooding last month would have merely overflowed the pond, he said.
The study also set a $1.3 million cost, which had been inflated during discussions at the last meeting.
Labor contract OK'd
On Monday, council also approved a labor contract with 10 service department employees who are members of Ohio Civil Service Employees Association.
Union members have already approved the contract, which grants workers a $1 hourly increase in the first year, 25 cents in the second year, and $1 in the third.
An employee in the lowest-paid classification, a laborer, will earn $13.39 in the first year of the agreement. The superintendent, the highest-paid classification, will earn $19.47.
Council also approved a measure that would allow salary negotiations to be reopened if another city union wins a raise higher than 10 percent over three years.
The service department workers have been working on a contract extension since July. The police contract, which expired at the same time, is going into fact-finding, Mayor Curt Moll said.

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