Raise approved for Niles city administrator

Published 6:00 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

NILES — The Niles City Council approved a pay raise for City Administrator Ric Huff.

The council motioned unanimously Monday night to give Huff a 3-percent raise effective Oct. 1.

“I want to thank this council for the amazing support,” Huff said. “None of this can be done without you and of course all the exceptional managers and staff that we have. It’s a privilege working for the City of Niles. It’s allowed me to raise a family. I really appreciate it.”

Huff became City Administrator in 2011 after retiring from police work. The city was still feeling the impact of the Great Recession of 2008 when he came into the position. There were estimates that it would take the city until 2048 to recover financially from The Great Recession. Due to millions of dollars in taxable value added to the city in recent years, instead of recovering in 2048, Niles recovered from the recession in 2021. At that point the city began generating revenue equal to what was generated in 2008.

“I’ve been on the city council now for about eight years and I think we’re blessed to have a city administrator with the experience that he has in our city at multiple levels,” said councilmember John DiCostanzo. “I attend a variety of different meetings, I have attended the planning commission where he filled the role of planning director for over a year while we didn’t have that position filled. I go to utility board meetings and he’s as prepared as our utility manager. He knows the history of our city; we’re blessed to have him. I think he deserves that raise and some.”

A major factor in the city’s turnaround was its commitment to construction, with projects ranging from the new Drive and Shine to the Indeck Energy Plant. The energy center now generates 1,000 megawatts of energy, enough to power 635,000 homes and businesses through the use of clean natural gas and state-of-the-art technologies. Entrepreneurs and developers saw the potential in the Niles community and began making that investment. More than $20 million in taxable value has been added to the city in each of the past three years.

“Thank you, City Administrator,” said Mayor Nick Shelton. “We appreciate you and we hope you stick around for many, many years.”