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Girard addressing stinky situation

Residents report skunks roaming neighborhood

GIRARD — City officials were made aware of a stinky situation in a residential neighborhood where several skunks have been sighted.

Annette Minniti of Stambaugh Street told council on Monday that neighborhood residents see three to four skunks at night and early in the morning.

“We are having problems again with skunks. I know before when this happened a trapper came down and caught a couple of the skunks. The skunks have gotten really bad again,” she said.

Minniti had photos of the skunks in her yard. She said she believes they are in the neighborhood because nearby properties have junk and debris that attract them. She said those owners and or renters do not take care to clean up their properties.

“What can I do to get the city to help us? When I leave to go to work early in the morning, I have to scope out my yard through my windows because the skunks are out there waiting. I am afraid when I go out I will be sprayed. That is how bad they are,” she said.

Minniti said residents can’t open their windows or run a fan or air conditioner in the window at night when it is hot outside because the skunks are right there by the windows.

“How would you feel if this was your home and you had skunks? ” Minniti said.

Safety / Service Director Jerry Lambert said he will contact a trapper, who comes to the city on a regular basis, to visit the neighborhood to trap the skunks.

He said a few years ago two other skunks were caught in the area.

Lambert said the city also has helped residents in neighborhoods when there are problems with bees and bee hives.

“We have been to Stambaugh Street before for bees and skunks. I have just been made aware of the skunks being there again,” he said.

PAY INCREASES

In other business, council gave first reading to pay increases for city council members and council president effective in January 2024.

Council also has proposed a pay increase for the treasurer, but because that is a four-year term while council and council president are two years, that increase would be effective January 2026 for the start of the next four-year term.

Council President Reynald Paolone said no pay raises can be in-term but can go into effect with the start of the new term.

Councilman-at-Large John Moliterno said council and the council president currently make $7,900 per year, which does not qualify for credit toward the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System because the figure is is too low.

Being proposed is to increase the pay for council and council president in 2024 to $8,658. Other increases would be to $8,811 in 2025, $8,964 in 2026, $9,123 in 2027, $9,287 in 2028, and $9,443 in 2029. The treasurer would receive $8,964 in January 2026.

Moliterno said these can’t go into effect in 2022 since many of the members already have been re-elected last spring or are unopposed in Nov. 2 general election ballot.

Second Ward Councilman Mark Standohar said PERS has established a minimum salary in order to get one year of service credit.

“Currently council does not meet that threshold to get a year’s credit of service, nor will it for the next two years,” he said,

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