The Chesterton Town
Council has addressed the disparity in a benefit which had been provided to
career-firefighters but not to the town’s other municipal employees: four
additional paid days off per year.
In November, Street
Commissioner John Schnadenberg submitted to the council a letter signed by
himself and the town’s other department heads, alerting the council to
general unhappiness among their employees that the CFD’s career-firefighters
enjoy four more paid personal-leave days per year than they do.
solution: to amend the Personnel Policy Handbook, which had stated that
municipal employees are entitled to two paid personal leave days
every year. At their meeting Monday night, members voted unanimously to
amend the handbook to state that all employees are now entitled to 48
paid personal leave hours every year.
addressed by the amendment: police officers and firefighters are entitled to
a full six months of paid major medical leave, equivalent to 1,040 hours.
All other municipal employees, under the old Personnel Policy Handbook, were
permitted only 960, due to a miscalculation. The amendment approved on
Monday corrects that disparity and grants all municipal employees the full
As Town Attorney
Chuck Lukmann noted about the handbook, “It’s not an aesthetic document. The
personal policy manual will always be looked at.”
In other business,
Town Engineer Mark O’Dell informed members that the incoming council should
be prepared in 2020 to make available $221,094 in CEDIT moneys as the match
for an 80/20 federal grant--approved earlier this year by the Northwestern
Indiana Regional Planning Commission--for Phase III of the
Phase III will continue the eight-foot sidewalk along the north side of
1100N from South Fifth Street to 100E, with a spur crossing 1100N, entering
the Tamarack subdivision by way of a corridor owned by the Park Department,
and then debouching onto 100E at Rail Road.
The $221,094 match
will pay for 20 percent of necessary right-of-way acquisition and 100
percent of engineering, while the federal portion of the grant will pay for
trail construction itself.
voted unanimously to adopt the 2020 Salary Ordinance, which provides for a
2-percent raise for all full-time municipal employees.
They also voted
unanimously to amend the 2019 Salary Ordinance, after it was discovered that
it inadvertently omitted two positions: Police Commission member and Park
Board member. “We need to add those positions so those members can be paid,”
Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela said.
New CFD Engine
Fire Chief John
Jarka reported that the CFD’s new engine, currently under construction,
should be ready for a final inspection Jan. 6-7.
business, members unanimously approved a 2.04-percent, seven-year loan for
the engine offered by First State Bank of Porter.
continue to review a proposal submitted earlier this month by Jarka for the
establishment by the CFD of an advanced life support (ALS) ambulance
service, Jarka reported that three different billing companies have
expressed an interest in the venture. A key component of the success of a
CFD-operated ALS service would be recouping the cost of treatment and
transport and making it a self-funding function of the department.