Bryan City Council got an impromptu lesson in Ohio Revised Code semantics during their meeting on Tuesday.
Council member John Betts asked why the city’s firefighters — who are paid for their service — are referred to as “volunteers,” and whether their job title could be changed.
“To me and some other members of the community, it seems to be confusing,” he said. Plus, he added, removing “volunteer” from the job title could help draw in prospective firefighters who may currently choose not to pursue the work if they believe they won’t be paid.
After some discussion, council moved on to other matters but at the end of the meeting, Bryan Fire Chief Bruce Siders, aided by his smartphone, provided an answer to Betts’ inquiry.
The “volunteer” terminology is based on ORC, which specifies that the title applies to “non-pay or part-pay” firefighters who are not eligible for a particular pension fund.
Siders also noted that the city’s volunteer firefighters have always been paid.
Separately on Tuesday, council approved the $117,214 purchase of a loader for use by the city Recycling Department. The equipment was actually bought in April, but had not been approved by council due to administrative oversight.
However, Mayor Carrie Schlade noted, the purchase had been approved by the city Budget Committee and was accounted for in the annual budget.
Council also heard from City Engineer Brian Wieland who presented a graph showing the results of a “speed enforcement evaluator” study conducted in the 300-400 block of East High Street.
Results showed that out of about 80,000 vehicles that passed through the area on Sept. 18 and 30, 2.6 percent were traveling 40 mph or faster through the 35 mph zone.
Wieland didn’t request that any action be taken but said he shared the data with the police department. He also noted happily that the data could be used to obtain grant funds in the future.
In other action, council approved:
• A change order decreasing in the cost of the annual pavement marking program by $80,163.44. Wieland said the deduction stemmed from crews not having to paint Main Street, which was covered by another project.
• A change order increasing the cost of the annual asphalt program by $10,311.06. Wieland said the additional cost stemmed from crews having to put in an extra eight-inch base of asphalt along a portion of South State Street.
• The appointments of Kirk Yosick and Chris Walker to fill two-year terms on the city Tax Review Committee.
• Approved a $33,000 interior renovation to the former Peters Family Eyecare building, at 1206 S. Main St. Wieland said a physical therapy business is moving into the building.
• The appointments of Casey P. Sanders and Devin L. Johnson as a probationary volunteer firefighter, and Ryan D. Hake and Eric M. McClaine to the position of volunteer fire lieutenant.
• An ordinance updating city code to conform to changes in state law, an annual action.