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Budget deliberations include 3 percent raises

Updated: September 10, 2013 1:23PM



CROWN POINT — The City Council on Sept. 3 voted in favor of a pay raise for all city employees and elected officials.

The vote was a first reading. The council can now send the budget to committee to discuss changes that they might wish to make to that budget before the final reading.

There is a difference of opinion as to how the raises should be determined. Should it be a 3 percent raise, or should it be a set dollar amount, giving the lower paid employee a larger percentage raise than the employees at the top of the pay scale?

Whatever is decided by this council, the final word will not come necessarily from them, but from the State Board of Accounts. It has the final approval on the city’s budget. Some years it has been cut way back and then there are a few years, like last year, when the city got everything it asked for.

Usually the city submits a budget request for more than it needs, expecting the SBA to reduce the spending plan.

The council will meet Monday, Sept. 16 and another meeting on Thursday, Sept. 26. Both of these special meetings start at 6 p.m. and not the regular time for the council meetings.

The budget committee will also hold hearings so it can make changes.

City Judge Kent Jeffers asked to have another employee in the Probation Department for city court. But first he asked to have the maximum dollar figured raised to $30 per hour to meet the state mandate for pay for that office, based on number of years on the job. The current Probation Officer will be reaching 20 years-of-service which will take the mandated amount to $å29.67 per hour. “We are required by law to do this,” said the judge.

Jeffirs said the court needs to add another bailiff, at the request of the management of the old Lake County Courthouse as well as owners of the shops on the bottom level of the building.

This is paid ffrom a non-reverting fund on fees collected from persons on probation, so it will not make a change to the total amount of the city budget.

The judge was asking to just add the position but not to fill it to make sure that they can fund it out of the probation fund.

The council approved the increased rate to $30 for the probation officer. Their hands are tied by a State of Indiana mandate to do so.



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