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Huntingburg City Council Meeting

There are two municipalities in Dubois County that are implementing merit-based pay for their employees.

Ferdinand was the first, and now Huntingburg is doing the same.

In December of 2012, the Ferdinand Town Council gave employees a 1 ½ percent raise and allowed supervisors to use remaining funds to give their employees merit-based raises. The Council agreed to take the action since they had the extra money due to choosing a less expensive health insurance plan.

The Huntingburg City Council in Thursday night’s meeting decided to change the system by which the city awards raises to a merit-based system.

They had originally agreed on a 1.5 % across the board pay increase back in July.

The council approved a proposal last night to create an ordinance for the 2014 budget that would apply a standard raise of 1 percent based on a performance review conducted by the superintendent of the employee’s respective department. The superintendent will have the option to give the employee the full one percent or any portion of that down to nothing based on his or her performance.

For employees whose performance was considered more than exemplary, superintendents would have the option to propose a pay raise above the standard one percent up to two percent. The mayor and council will review any raise proposed above the one percent standard before it is approved.

Mayor Spinner after the meeting told us that the effort was a collaborative one:

The Council approved the changes and now they will be rolled into the Salary Ordinance, which will be voted on, in an upcoming meeting.

Also, in Thursday night’s meeting the $40,000.00 grant was approved by the Council for the Planning Grant for the City.

The majority of the funding is through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, along with a $5,000 match from the City.

With the funds made possible from the grant, the City will study the area between Jackson and Geiger Streets, from 3rd to 5th Streets. A series of “community conversations” will be planned to encourage residents’ participation to assist in formulating goals and objectives of the plan.

Spinner clarified what the grant is for:

The ordinance could be approved at the next common council meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26 in the Council Chambers at the Huntingburg City Hall.

The council also took the following actions.

-Approved the interlocal agreement with the county for the construction of the railroad overpass. $18 million in federal highway funds will come through the Indiana Department of Transportation with $2 million local matching funds split between Huntingburg and Dubois County.

-Heard a proposal from Madeleine Pelzel, a Forest Park High School senior pursuing a degree in architecture, for renovating the historic Killian Home. Pelzel presented plans to turn it into a home, business or home office.

Pelzel said that she wanted to involve other students who could use the opportunity to learn how to apply the various upgrades and improvements in their own fields of interest.

She noted that this is part of the “Lead the Way” project and could be a great benefit for those involved as well as preserving an historic structure in the city. The Council congratulated her on a great presentation.

The Dubois County Free Press contributed to this story.