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Batavia Council approves 3% raise for city manager after evaluation

The City Council on Monday voted, 8-1, to give the city manager a nearly 3 percent raise following a five-month evaluation by each member of the Council.

Jason R. Molino, who was appointed nearly three years ago, will have an annual salary of $83,486, an increase of $2,313. The increase is retroactive to April 1, the start of the city's fiscal year.

Molino became manager in mid-November 2006 after several months as acting city manager following the unexpected resignation of Matthew W. Coppler.

While the increase is part of the 2009-10 budget that gives a 2.85 percent raise to all administrators, Molino had to await an evaluation of his job performance.

When Molino was hired, the city faced a $1 million annual loss in its operations. That deficit was overcome, and spending plans were balanced. Molino is also credited with securing state funds for street improvements and economic development projects. Because of confidentiality, details of the evaluation were not made public.

The only no vote came from 1st Ward Councilman William E. Cox, who explained it was "a personnel matter." He did not elaborate.

The Council also agreed to accept a "gift of improvements" to be funded by Batavia Little League Baseball at the city-owned MacArthur Park. The league will use its own funds to provide new dugouts, an added batting cage and improvements to the concession stand at the league's park.

The Council also authorized the Youth Bureau, which provides services to the city's young population, to apply for $33,897 in matching funds from the state Office of Children and Family Services.

An advance of $230,000 was approved for the reconstruction of Cedar Street and $138,000 for rebuilding Summit Street. Both are state Department of Transportation projects paid for with federal and state funds.

The work on two principal arteries -- Summit leads to United Memorial Medical Center, and Cedar is a connector to state Route 63 -- is scheduled for next year.

Budget transfers of $259,000 from the contingency fund were approved for the police and fire departments. Shortfalls were caused by a recent arbitration award ($236,000) for police, and needed repairs and maintenance ($36,000) at Fire Headquarters.

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