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By Carmen Ensinger
Carrollton City Council unanimously approved a three-year extension to its current contract with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department to provide police dispatching services to the city.
According to Police Chief Mike McCartney, by contracting the county to provide the dispatching services, the city is saving a lot of money.
“If the city were to try to do it themselves, it would require the hiring of three dispatchers and the purchase of a lot of equipment,” he said. “This way, we are basically paying for one person with what they are charging us for the use of their service and it is saving us a ton of money.”
All language in the contract remains the same as in the last contract except the Greene County Sheriff’s Office is proposing a three percent increase for each year of the new contract.
“This is consistent with the increase in operating costs, considering the wages of my staff is increasing three percent annually during their current contract period,” Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen said. “Currently, I have four full-time dispatchers.”
The rate of pay for these four dispatchers range from $17.58 per hour to $14.75 per hour.
“So, the three percent increase is basically just keeping us close to the actual operating costs of one of the dispatchers in the dispatch center,” McMillen said. “As you know, Illinois state law is requiring the minimum wage to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2025. I am confident when my employees negotiate with the County Board for their next contract in Jan. of 2023 that a wage increase to keep them ahead of minimum wage employees will be at the top of their list.”
Per the agreement, the city agrees to pay the following amounts to the county:
Year 1 – May 1, 2022 through April 30, 2023 – $51,359.35.
Year 2 – May 1, 2023 through April 30, 2024 – $52,900.13.
Year 3 – May 1, 2024 through April 30, 2025 – $54,487.13.
The city will also pay a $200 month fee for full access to the LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System). This is the statewide computerized network which provides computerized data and communications for criminal justice agencies within the state.
In other action, the council set Clean-Up Days for the city to be Wednesday through Saturday, May 18-21.
Carrollton residents will be able to take their items to the city dumpsters, which will be located at the city shed, between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and between 8 a.m. and noon on Saturday.
The city will pick up appliances for a convenience charge of $10 per appliance. Anyone who wishes to have an appliance picked up can call city hall and arrange to have the item picked up.
Benton and Associates Representative Jaime Headen presented a pay request to the council for work on the water tank in the amount of $242,277.22. This amount included fees to his firm for their engineering work, the bond council and Caldwell Tank.
“The work is about 50 percent completed so far,” Headen said. “They haven’t been able to get the top part of the bowl up because of the high winds over the last few days but they should be ready to paint in about a month or so.”
Alderwoman Bernie Faul said that the pool had once again been broken into over the winter months.
“It wasn’t quite as bad as it was last year when they broke in, but they still did damage,” Faul said. “They broke a couple of sinks and a toilet. We don’t know when they did it, but had to have been after January because we did a walkthrough after January and it was all okay then.”
Chief McCartney said one thing that was needed was better doors.
“They are getting in by simply kicking the doors in,” he said. “You need to put better doors on because when our officers went down there they just jarred them a little and they came right open.”
On a more positive note, Faul said that they have hired a new pool manager, Missy Palan. They have also hired eight new life guards for the new pool season.
Faul also mentioned two fundraisers coming up at the Eldred Legion – a fried chicken dinner to benefit the Eldred-Bushnell Cemetery and a Mother’s Day benefit on May 8 to benefit the Veteran’s Freedom Walkway. Both will run during the lunch hour which is approximately 11 a.m. to when they run out of chicken.