5% pay hike in 2024 proposed for Elwood city employees

Sep. 13—ELWOOD — City council took the first steps this week toward a 5% pay increase next year for all city employees and the approval of an additional officer for the police department.

Council on Monday approved the 2024 budget through a first reading. No public comments were heard. The council will consider a second and final reading of the budget at its Oct. 2 meeting.

The budget proposal presented by Mayor Todd Jones would provide funds to increase the police department to 20 officers next year.

The proposed 2024 budget of $11.7 million would be an increase of $400,000 over the total budget for this year.

In other council business:

An ordinance, requested by Elwood Fire Chief Mark Sullivan, was approved to revise the procedures for calling in personnel to cover ambulance runs.

The new policy requires members of the department who reside within three miles of the fire station to respond when off duty to cover ambulance runs.

Sullivan said when the department's ambulance and a fire truck respond to a call outside the city limits, off-duty members of the department are called in to work to cover any potential ambulance runs.

"This is an incentive for new hires to live within three miles of the fire station," Sullivan said, noting that off-duty members called to cover potential ambulance runs receive overtime pay.

Attorney Jeff Graham said Tuesday only those members of the department residing within three miles of the fire station can be called in to cover ambulance runs.

Sullivan said the fire department receives an average of $280 from insurance companies for each ambulance run.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.