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Lengthy contract impasse in Phillipsburg comes to an end

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Oct 15 2013 11:07:55 PM CDT
PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. -

The superior officers on Phillipsburg's police force finally have a new contract.

Phillipsburg council unanimously approved a four-year agreement Tuesday night giving the 10 people in the bargaining unit a 7.4 percent raise spread out in 1.85 percent increments each year.

The contract is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012, the day after the previous contract covering five police sergeants, four lieutenants and one captain expired.

Before the vote, Mayor Harry Wyant told council the agreement had just been concluded Tuesday morning.

Council president Bernie Fey Jr. thanked the mayor for his efforts in the negotiating the contract, which he said "was very fair to both sides,"

After the meeting, Wyant said the salary range for the officers covered by the contract will be available at council's Nov. 4 meeting.

Asked by WFMZ.com why negotiations took so long, the mayor smiled and said, "Everybody always wants more. That's all I'm going to say."

In other business, council approved on first reading a $7,907,500 bond ordinance to raise money to pay for improvements at the town's sewage treatment plant.

Council is expected to give the ordinance final approval on Nov. 4.

After the meeting, Wyant said one of the improvements will help the plant meet new state requirements to remove more copper and phosphorous from sewage.

The project would also create a larger dilution area for discharged water, the mayor said.

The water that now goes directly into the Lopatcong Creek will be discharged closer to the Delaware River, Wyant explained.