Crown Point City Hall stock

Crown Point City Hall

CROWN POINT — The Crown Point City Council has officially started its budget talks.

During a recent meeting, the council approved two ordinances on first reading that set 2020 salaries for Crown Point city employees and elected officials.

The salary ordinance specifically for employees calls for a 2% across-the-board raise for all full-time city employees. Salaries for elected officials will not change.

“Last year we took care of public safety, fire and police. This year, we are looking to do something more to honor civilian employees,” Crown Point Mayor Dave Uran said.

Salaries in 2019 included an average of a 6% increase in pay for Crown Point Police Department’s patrol officers and Crown Point Fire Rescue’s firefighters. The first responders were also awarded an increase in their retirement plan.

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The city council is now looking at awarding civilian employees a 3% to 4% increase for 2020. Police and fire department employees will get a 2% raise.

Uran presented the proposed salary ordinances to council members for them to have an opportunity to review before coming back in September to discuss the 2020 city budget.

“When we have our budget hearing, we will begin to break down through our labor forces, civilian side and department heads (whom) will advocate for what they believe will be needed for them for cost of living in comparisons,” Uran said. “It could be suggested for 3% or 4% … this is just the foundation, giving us something to go off.”

The tentative 2020 budget schedule was presented to the council during the meeting. There will be two council budget workshops this month before the Sept. 3 deadline when the city budget is submitted to the Lake County Council for review. The first workshop is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday and the second will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 19.

The first public hearing on the budget ordinance is scheduled for Oct. 7. The special meeting to adopt the budget is Oct. 21.

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Allie covers South Lake County municipal government, development and breaking news for The Times. She comes to the Region from Lebanon, Indiana. She is a proud Ball State University graduate.