MERRILLVILLE | Merrillville police officers won't be the only town employees to receive raises.
Town Councilman Tom Goralczyk said Merrillville's civilian employees also will have their pay increased this year, but town leaders haven't yet determined how much of an increase those employees will receive.
Goralczyk is the chairman of the council's Budget and Finance Committee and its Personnel Policy and Employee Benefits Committee.
Last week the Merrillville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 168 accepted a proposal that will increase officer pay by $10,000 over the next three years and change longevity pay for officers.
The council must approve a revision to Merrillville's salary ordinance for the offer to go into effect.
"You can't give one without giving the other one," Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Guernsey said of raises for employees.
Merrillville officers and the town's civilian employees haven't received raises in about six years.
Guernsey said the unfrozen property tax levy and additional money the town will receive from the Lake County income tax has put Merrillville in its best financial position in several years.
Although no final decisions have been made regarding the amount that will be provided to civilian employees, Guernsey said it's not likely it will be as much as what was offered to Merrillville police.
"It's still in the works," Guernsey said of the matter.
The last time raises were provided to employees, which was in 2008, police also received a larger pay increase than civilian employees.
Officer retention is among reasons the latest raise is necessary for Merrillville police officers, Town Manager Bruce Spires said.
Other Merrillville departments haven't encountered the same issues, Spires said.
"Our employees are very loyal," he said. "We're lucky to have them."
Guernsey said there are no plans to provide raises to Merrillville's elected officials.
"I didn't run for office to live off it," Guernsey said of his clerk-treasurer salary.