Elkhart City Council to consider pay hikes for police, fire, communication center employees

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By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

(Photo supplied/The Elkhart Truth)

Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore is proposing using new income tax funds to give pay raises to city emergency responders. The Elkhart City Council will consider the proposal during its meeting Monday night, May 18.

In all, 275 Elkhart police, fire and communication center employees would see pay raises, according to 95.3 MNC’s news partners The Elkhart Truth. The total cost is $759,839 from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

Moore says pay has fallen behind other government entities in the region.

Sgt. Chris Snyder with the Elkhart Police Department told The Elkhart Truth that competition is strong between departments for officers and the department has lost officers to other departments and the private sector over the years. He believes that the department’s low wages compared to other police departments in the region are a factor.

Funding for the pay raises would from the public safety portion of a 0.5-percent hike in the Elkhart County income tax rate approved in 2014. The hike went into effect Jan. 1 and the city of Elkhart is in line to collect $3.4 million this year in increased public safety funding, The Elkhart Truth reported.