Village backs 2 percent employee pay hikes, recommends property tax break

2013-05-20T00:00:00Z 2013-05-20T22:40:36Z Village backs 2 percent employee pay hikes, recommends property tax breakGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent
May 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SOUTH HOLLAND | The Village Board approved to a pay hike of 2 percent Monday for all its employees while also recommending that the Cook County Board grant a significant property tax break to a local business that wishes to expand.

Trustees voted 6-0 to support an ordinance giving everyone on the South Holland municipal payroll a 2 percent pay hike for the fiscal year that began May 1 and runs through April 30, 2014.

Village attorney Timothy Lapp said those employees covered by union contracts already had such raises guaranteed. The salary and wage ordinance approved by the Village Board was meant to ensure that all other employees – mostly those in supervisory positions – also receive a 2 percent increase.

Village president Don DeGraff said he supported providing the pay hike to all employees, while other village officials merely voted for the ordinance without commenting publicly on it.

Trustees also gave a 6-0 vote on a resolution that urges the county board to approve a Class 8 property tax break for 548 E. 162nd St. If the county ultimately grants such a break, it would mean property taxes being cut by more than half over a 12-year time period.

Lapp said Brian Kamstra, the president of Retriever Merchant Solutions, 530-542 E. 162nd St., wants to expand his business. He said he wants the adjacent property at 548 E. 162nd St. – which previously was used by condominiums, but which Lapp said has been vacant for the past 17 months.

DeGraff said that even though the property tax break would cost South Holland government some revenue, he thinks the fact that an expanded Retriever would create an additional six to 10 jobs in the village makes the deal worthwhile – particularly since without the tax break the property would continue to sit empty.

“This is a property abandoned that would be purchased and reused,” DeGraff said. “That is what Class 8 is for in Cook County.”

The county board usually takes several months to review Class 8 property tax breaks, and Lapp said he is hopeful the break will be granted in about six months.

In other business, the Village Board approved a resolution and an agreement that allow for the spending of up to $295,600 in motor fuel tax funds received from state government for the resurfacing of streets across South Holland this summer. Of that amount, $35,600 will go toward paying for engineering services for those resurfacing projects, said village engineer Pat Barker.

The Village Board also gave its approval for the sale of a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria automobile that had been in use in recent years by the Police Department.

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