The report of a fact-finder who heard areas of contract dispute, including wages and benefits, between Miami County and the Fraternal Order of Police unit representing 38 sheriff’s deputies was accepted by the county commissioners Jan. 26.

Fact-finder Jack McCormick of Columbus heard evidence in the dispute Jan. 17, according to his report. The deputies’ contract expired Dec. 31.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to accept the report. They made no comments.

In the report, McCormick noted that the existing contract was considered mature with provisions dating 10 years so any proposed changes would need to be compelling.

In his findings, McCormick awarded a 2.5 percent increase in 2017 followed by 2 percent increases in both 2018 and 2019.

He wrote that the county offered a 1 percent increase in each of the three contract years while the union sought a 4 percent increase each year.

With benefits, the county proposed increasing the employee share of coverage from 15 to 20 percent while the union proposed the county pay $1,000 to employees who would opt out of the insurance plans. McCormick found neither proposal was supported by facts.

A proposal by the county to change the normal 161.5 hours in a 28-day pay to 171 hours with any time exceeding 171 considered overtime was rejected by McCormick. He said facts did not support the request.

Also rejected was a union request for a new stipend of $250 for “other” clothing beyond uniforms now provided. A union representative elaborated by saying the “other” would include items such as underwear and socks.

“They provided no facts to evidence that members were paying $250 for such items,” McCormick wrote, adding he had never seen such a provision for “unmentionables” in his three decades in his role.

In other business last week, the commissioners approved the annexation of 1.8557 acres from Concord Township to the city of Troy. The property owned by Richard L. and Jane M. Philipot is located off McKaig Avenue.

Also approved were items associated with the remodeling of the dispatch room at the county Communication Center.

P&R Communications Service of Dayton will be paid up to $5,880 to remove the Emergency CallWorks 911 telephone system hardware and Motorola radio consoles from the communicators’ workstations and re-install them in new workstations.

The commission also OK’d the disposal of the old workstations and related furnishings from the dispatch room. The items are more than 25 years old, worn and not suited for today’s technology, the commission was told.

The purchase of two 2018 Western Star 4700SB single-axle dump trucks from Kinstle Sterling in Wapakoneta also was approved. The cost is $85,409 each. Each truck also will receive a dump body and hydraulics along with a salter and snowplow hitch for $43,345 each. County Engineer Paul Huelskamp said two new dump trucks are purchased annually.