Negotiations ongoing over Weirton fire lawsuit

WEIRTON — Officials expect a lawsuit filed by the union representing Weirton’s firefighters against the city administration to be resolved sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Filed in June by the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 948, the lawsuit seeks to stop the city from creating the position of public safety director for the city, as well as establishing a 212 hour over 28 day work rotation.

Both ordinances passed their first readings in May, but were tabled as part of action during Weirton Council’s June and July meetings as a result of the lawsuit.

City Attorney Vince Gurrera explained during Monday’s council meeting, movement on the ordinances had been “stayed” by court order.

“The judge has given us time to work it out,” Gurrera said.

Gurrera said city officials plan to meet with representatives of the IAFF, and hope to have an agreement in the next week or so.

The proposed ordinances and lawsuit filed several months of public debate between council and representatives of the IAFF after council voted against the application of a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant, which, if awarded, would have temporarily provided funding to assist with the hiring of five firefighters.

In the interim, the city has hired two new full-time firefighters.

In other business, Monday, council:

¯ Approved the second reading of an ordinance placing a yellow curb on the north side of Oak Street, from the corner of Mercer Street to the wall at 137 Oak St.

¯ Approved the second reading of an ordinance establishing 45 feet of no parking beginning at a point 493 feet from the intersection of Potomac Avenue on the north side of Morningside Court, and against at a point of 37 feet

¯ Tabled, at the request of Ward 5 Councilwoman Flora Perrone, the second reading of an ordinance establishing stop signs near 1272 Elmhurst and 3877 Palisades, and referring it back to the city’s Traffic Commission

¯ Approved the second reading of an ordinance modifying the salaries of employees in the Weirton Municipal Employees Union

¯ Approved the second reading of an ordinance establishing new salary levels for non-union municipal employees

¯ Approved an ordinance to rescind a handicap parking stall at 3538 Elm St.

¯ Approved the first of three readings authorizing the design of proposed expansions to the city’s water system

¯ Approved the first of three readings authorizing the design of proposed sanitary expansions in the city

¯ Approved a contract with Justice Business Services for asbestos abatement at a cost of $677, and a contract with Pulice Construction for $7,500 for demolition. Both are for property at 4045 Brooke St.

¯ Approved a contract with American Rock Salt Co. LLC, at a cost of $85.72 per ton, for the purchase of road de-icing salt.

¯ Agreed to the purchase of a K-9 dog for use by the Weirton Police Department, using drug task force funds in the amount of $4,000

¯ Approved a contract with Fire & Marine Inc. for equipment mounting for the Weirton Fire Department, at a cost not to exceed $7,317.11

Council also approved the appointments of Kitty Kochman to the Library Board; Jonathan Curenton to the Human Rights Commission; and Christine Delguzzi and Perrone to the Hall of Fame Committee.

A 46-minute executive session was held early in the meeting, which Gurrera explained was to discuss personnel matters involving the departure of a city employee.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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