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City, union ink pact for firefighters

Yukon firefighters will receive a 3 percent pay increase as a result of a contract approved Tuesday by the Yukon City Council.

The two-year agreement with the International Association of Firefighters Local 2055 represents fiscal years 2018-19, City Manager Jim Crosby said.

The contract includes a one-time 3 percent pay hike for firefighters, but also requires any new firefighter hired after July 1 be certified as an emergency medical technician, Crosby said.

Previously, the city paid for a firefighter to become certified.

Crosby said it is imperative that firefighters be medically trained because of the number of health-related calls they respond to.

“We’ve also have increased the incentive for being a paramedic,” said Crosby. “That went from $2,000 to $3,600.”

The city also will pay a one-time incentive payment of $2,000 for those who complete their paramedic certification, the contract states.

“It is very important that we have more paramedics,” Crosby said, pointing out that the certification enables firefighters to administer medication.

“We want to have at least one paramedic on each shift. We really want them to be a paramedic,” Crosby said. “We want to give our citizens the best of care.”

Batallion Chief Jimmy White, who is president of the union, did not return calls seeking comment.

Meanwhile, Crosby said the department anticipates adding four firefighters to the staff within the next few days.

Crosby said final interviews were expected this week.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the council:

  • Approved the renewal of a maintenance agreement with Tyler Technology for public safety software. The cost is $90,394;
  • Approved the renewal of a maintenance agreement with Tyler Technology for Incode Financial software. The cost is $36,154.84;
  • Approved the renewal of a lease agreement with the Yukon Optimist Sports Club for use of the community center football field through Nov. 30;
  • Approved an agreement with the Houston-Galveston Area Council to be a part of a purchasing cooperative;
  • Approved a preliminary plat for Yukon Angle, 1010 Garth Brooks Blvd.
  • Approved a conditional use permit for GameFace to operate a game lounge at 10 West Main.

Yukon officials look to pay off land loans

Yukon city officials say they may use bond money to pay off two pieces of property that are now for sale.

City Manager Jim Crosby told the city council Tuesday that he has adjusted plans for bond money to allow the city to pay off loans for property in east Yukon that was purchased as the site of Yukon’s city hall.

The $2.3 million loan is for about 40 acres of land and is owed to BancFirst. The city has been paying interest-only on the property since it was purchased by former city manager Grayson Bottom.

Plans for the city hall were scrapped after the city ran into financial trouble in 2015-16.

“It is still for sale,” said Crosby on Friday.

Officials had a buyer for the land earlier this year, but the deal fell through, Crosby said.

Meanwhile, property on the western edge of Yukon that was purchased for a sports complex is also being paid for through a loan.

Crosby said he would like to use $3.274 million to pay off that loan to YNB.

Crosby said the city still owns about 197 acres of the original 247 that was purchased.

Fifty acres of the property have been sold to Scott Myrick for the construction of a water park.

Construction on the indoor waterpark is expected to begin later this year and should be completed about the same time an interchange at Frisco Road and Interstate 40 are finished.

“We want to get it paid off. The banks don’t like carrying interest-only loans for a long time. … It is time to do something with them,” he said.

City officials in July approved the sale of $10 million in bonds. Tuesday, Crosby suggested selling an additional $6 million to pay off the loans.

The original bond money is being used for several projects, including the relocation of Vandament and improvements to Frisco Road.

In addition, the city’s portion of expenses related to the Interstate 40-Frisco Road interchange will come from the funds.

Crosby said paying off the loans should not impact any of the projects, all of which are on schedule.

The city manager said he expects to seek bids on the Vandament realignment and the Frisco Road project within about 60 days.

“Everything seems to be going quite well and is on schedule,” Crosby said.

 

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