City salary ordinance on hold
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - Union negotiations derailed approval of the city's 2001
salary ordinance last week, when the City Council met to consider
approving 3 percent raises for all employees. Mayor James Metros told
the council at the July 18 meeting that the attorney representing the
city in negotiations with the American Federation of State, County, and
Municipal Employees recommended delaying approval of salaries until a
complete contract is completed.
AFSCME represents workers in the city's Public Works
"As of right now, we do not have a contract with
the union," Metros said. "As of right now, they can't accept
the 3 percent."
He said raises could end up being 3 percent,
"but there's also other issues the union wanted to address.
"We don't know what the economic package will
The council met in executive session July 20 to
discuss the ongoing negotiations.
Public Works employees voted to join AFSCME in 1999.
The contract under negotiation is the first between the union and the
Attorney Mark Romaniuk, who wrote a personnel policy
for the city two years ago, is the city's legal representative at the
Residents sound off over possible
Fees to meet IAW requirements could cost thousands of dollars
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
Winfield - Public tempers flared at the Town Council meeting July 18
when members of the board updated its residents regarding the
probability of a mandatory sewer connection.
The proposal entailed American Indiana Water (IAW)
requiring 235 water taps installed into residential units in the Meadows
and Hidden Creek subdivisions with additional taps required along 109th
Meadows resident Scott Langbarteis said, "There
are not many people in the town who are aware of possibly being forced
to buy into tapping. Many of us who live here bought our property
specifically for the fact that we would not have to use city water but
instead have use through wells."
The town is proposing a substantial 'tap-in' fee for
those who are mandated to get water through IAW. Estimates had ranged
from $5,000 to $10,000.
Rebecca Melanson, a resident of Trees whose
subdivision has been affected the most by water shortage, stated,
"We as a town are not looking at short-term solutions in solving
this problem because it is much greater than that. We need to realize
the aquifers that criss-cross throughout our county are not adequate for
the town of Winfield. We have already looked at the community well
situation and that has not produced any productive results."
Public sentiment stated that a possible solution
would be to halt all building in the town and eliminate sprinkling of
Town Council Attorney George Patrick refuted that
concern by commenting, "By halting construction we reduce the
town's budget significantly which will directly have an effect on
residential taxes. What the town needs to figure out is centers around
three questions - how will we spread the fee implementation out fairly?
who actually needs the water taps? and where should we put the
Town Council President Joyce Furto, who residence is
not affected by the water situation, stated, "I do not need to tap
into IAW but am willing to hook up to it to help those affected because
I do not know if and when this might affect me."
Patrick is actively looking at government agency
financing to help subsidize the this 'tap-in' solution.
IAW will be presenting its case at the next Town
Council meeting on Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.