WHEELING - Those employed by the Friendly City now have more reason to look forward to payday, as Wheeling City Council on Tuesday approved 2-percent pay raises for all city employees.
Council voted Tuesday to spend about $260,000 on 2-percent raises for all full-time city employees as part of a revision to the current year's budget that includes plans to spend $1.01 million in cash left over at the close of the previous fiscal year on June 30. The city took in $30,517,412 in revenue for the year, about $1.04 million more than anticipated.
Wheeling's employees last received a raise about three years ago, when council approved 3-percent pay increases during the 2009-10 fiscal year.
Other plans for the fund balance include moving $300,000 to the city's "restricted capital improvement fund," $250,000 for additional street paving, $36,000 for the Greater Wheeling Sports and Entertainment Authority; and the purchase of body armor for the police department and defibrillator units for the fire department.
Council also unanimously approved a use agreement between the city and Soup Shack owner Frank Warren, allowing him to serve food at the Depot Bikery, a new outdoor eatery at the north end of Heritage Port, near the playground. The Depot Bikery has been offering a limited menu since Aug. 2. With council's official blessing now secured, the eatery will celebrate a grand opening at 11 a.m. today.
Councilman Don Atkinson asked how many vendors submitted proposals to serve food at the site. Herron said Warren was the only one.
In other business, council voted to spend $65,447 with Wells Fargo for workers' compensation insurance. The vote was 6-0, with Mayor Andy McKenzie abstaining because he is employed by Wells Fargo.
Members also voted to approve the extension of a rental agreement with the Ohio County Board of Education for use of a portion of Garden Park in Warwood.
Also during the meeting, Fire Chief Larry Helms recognized the efforts of four residents.
Earlier this year, Chrissy Anderson, Dr. Harold Pickens and police Officer Bryan Wilson were playing tennis at Wheeling Park when Jeffrey Johnson collapsed nearby. Through a combination of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of one of the park's automated external defibrillators, the three were able to keep Johnson's heart beating until paramedics could arrive.
Johnson, who attended the meeting, said he's "filled with words that it would take too long to say" for those who saved his life that day.
"They'll always be in my prayers every night. I'm so thankful to them. ... God is always on our side," Johnson said.
Helms also presented an award to Lacey Dunaway, a pool lifeguard at Bridge Park on Wheeling Island. She performed the Heimlich maneuver on a young child who had begun to choke.