JOHNSTOWN - Elected, unpaid city Water Board members want to be paid.
Board President Nicholas Cannizzo Sr. and Vice President John Pradelski asked the Common Council on Monday to approve pay for the five members of the water board.
Cannizzo recommended the president and vice president be paid $75 per board meeting and other members receive $50 per board meeting.
The members would be paid with city Water Department funds. The council took no immediate action.
The water board is a separate entity from city government but must gain council approval in certain matters.
Cannizzo said board members spend a lot of time working on contractual matters and other issues.
The board generally meets once a month at the water department building on East Main Street, but occasionally in special sessions.
Pradelski, who also volunteers for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, has spent six years on the water board. He said the board is involved in many issues, including a current project to install new residential water meter systems citywide.
"It's become a part-time job for myself," he said. "I know that. It is a lot of time."
Pradelski said the amount of money that would be paid would be "small compensation" for board members.
Cannizzo said "anything we get would be appreciated."
Pradelski described the water board as an "active" group, whose members can get called by the water department all hours of the day and night, if there are problems, such a water main breaks.
Cannizzo said he has brought coffee and doughnuts to crews working on water system repairs in frigid weather in the middle of the night. He said he constantly answers calls at home.
City Councilman-at-Large Christopher Swatt said he preferred to see a written proposal from the board.
"We could draw one up," Cannizzo said. "It doesn't have to go out to a referendum."
City Attorney Brett Preston said the council would have to adopt a law to pay water board members. He said the city charter would have to be changed.
Mayor Michael Julius agreed no referendum is required.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.