The Common Council came back from its August recess for a special session Thursday. With uncertainty about the future of Rural Metro with a competitor buying the firm out, members approved a new five-year ambulance agreement.
Council members also approved a new pact with the PBA after two years of talk. Corporation Council Tim Ball says it's better to have a negotiated deal.
"The alternative to negotiating long-term deals and being reasonable across the table is going to a kind of unknown interest arbitration panel that basically tells you what the deal is going to be and doesn't consider things like a residency requirement," Ball explained.
"They look at wages. They look at health care and they basically divide that pie they way they see fit and you live with it."
The new contract requires new officers to live in the city for the first seven years on the job. PBA President Kevin Kennedy says roughly half of his 710 members live in the city now. Current officers get a substantial pay raise with three-years of retroactivity and other raises through the end of the pact in 2019.