[ back ]
Prairie Township approves pay hikes
Though the nation’s economy continues on a downward spiral, the Prairie Township trustees have approved a two percent raise for non-union employees.
At a meeting held Dec. 29, the last meeting of 2008, trustees voted unanimously to give employees not entered into a union the raise, effective Jan. 1.
Those who will receive the salary increase include the senior center director, accounting assistant, fire chief, assistant fire chief, township administrator, heads of departments and road and zoning inspectors.
While the trustees agreed to the raise, it was a guarded decision, according to Chairperson Nicole Schlosser.
“There are some government agencies who are putting freezes on salaries,” she said. “We have had to tighten our belts in Prairie Township. At the same time, we want to make sure we are able to pump money back into the economy. This is a way to do that and a way to give to our employees to compensate for the increase of the cost of living.”
The modest increase, Schlosser said, will not mean the township will loosen its spending practices in the next year.
“We will still meet a zero tolerance budget next year,” she added.
Trustee Stephen Kennedy commended the township on its third year of fiscal responsibility. The township financial records for the year 2008 do not officially end until Jan. 7, Kennedy said.
Prairie Township is still waiting on $26,000 in revenue from investments.
“This is the third year in a row that our books have balanced,” he said.
After several residents publicly commended the trustees for fiscal responsibility, Schlosser acknowledged the progress.
“It was definitely a rough year,” she added.
In other business, the trustees declared a strip of property off of Bolingbrook Drive, owned by Norfolk Southern, as a nuisance.
Brought to the attention of the trustees by residents near the property, the township has attempted several times to resolve the situation, to no avail.
A representative of the railroad company had advised Kennedy that progress would be made shortly after the first of the new year.
According to Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker, property owned by the railroad company has become overgrown, and dust and debris from the passing trains have collected in yards near Bolingbrook.
“This has encouraged other surrounding neighbors to allow their yards to become overgrown,” Hatmaker said.
The township has the right, by law, to bring the property up to township standards and assess the property owner’s taxes, Hatmaker said.
The trustees will continue to attempt a relationship with Norfolk Southern in order to get the situation resolved, Kennedy said.
In other news
During the meeting, the trustees also approved a transfer of $10,000 from the road, bridge, machinery, equipment and furniture funds to the road, bridge, materials and supplies fund for road salt.
[ back ]