By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Park District Board of Commissioners ratified a new contract for the district's 12 full-time union laborers at its monthly board meeting Wednesday night.
By a 5-2 vote, the board agreed to a contract that will give the group a 25 cents per hour raise this year, followed by 30-cent increases in 2014 and 2015. Commissioners Tom Ernst and Greg Feldberg voted against accepting the deal that was made between the Park District and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 9. Voting in favor of the contract were Board President John Frankenhoff, Vice President Jeff Van Camp, Chris Hogge, Patricia McGlothlin and Mike Ridder.
"We think it's a fair deal," Frankenhoff said. "We have a good staff. I think most Quincyans are proud of the way their parks look and these are the guys who make it happen."
Park District Executive Director Ed Seger said the raises amount to between a 1 1/2 to 2 percent increase for those employees. The financial impact on the district this year will be an additional $6,240. Frankenhoff said the raise had already been factored into the 2013 budget that was passed at the December board meeting.
In addition to getting a raise, workers will have a standard 6:30 a.m. start to their days. They will also go from wearing collared work shirts to T-shirt uniform tops.
The board also gave its approval for plans to name the new 12-acre park that will be built on land the Park District acquired with its purchase of the old River's Edge building on Bonansinga Drive. The board will take name suggestions through Feb. 8. With the help of Park District staff, the board will cut down the list to three to five finalists. The board will select its favorite submission at the March board meeting. Following a 56-day window for public comment, the board plans to vote on the name of park at the May 8 board meeting.
Seger said people can submit names through a form on the Park District's website at www.quincyparkdistrict.com. Submissions can also be made via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by using "Park Name" in the subject line. Submissions will also be accepted through the mail at Quincy Park District, Attn.: Park Name, 1310 Washington St., Quincy, Ill., 62301.
Seger said that contractors have already started work on the River's Edge property. The deadline for their work on the project is July 1, but Seger said they "likely will be done well before that."
He said the Park District hopes to move into its new administrative offices this summer.