City council authorizes pay hikes

Clerk-treasurer Barb Hawn, left, City Attorney Steve Clouse, center, and Mayor Patty Fisel, right, sign an ordinance raising pay for Ligonier city employees Monday night.

LIGONIER — It’s official: Ligonier is investing more in its officials and staff.

The city council convened Monday night to pass budget ordinances, including changes to employee pay and appropriations.

Some of the funds moved out from the city’s budget to be used included $168,000 out from the local road and bridge matching grant fund, which will go toward infrastructure improvements around Ligonier.

Other funds taken out include $22,350 from the cumulative fire fund, two entries of $12,670 and $37,688 from the public safety local income tax, and a total of $59,435 from the general fund.

The council also appropriated $5,000 from the park and recreation fund to be used.

Another ordinance approved laid out pay for city employees for the next calendar year.

The changes from this year include a 2.5% pay hike and an additional $1,000, as approved in previous council meetings, Ligonier Mayor Patty Fisel said.

Starting January 2020, employees like police sergeants will make $25.35 per hour, entry-level street department laborers will make anywhere from $12-18 per hour and plan commission and board of zoning appeals members will make $23.50 per meeting attended.

The last ordinance approved pertained to salaries of elected officials.

Each official will be paid bi-weekly. One-third of that money will be paid by the general fund, one-third by the water department and another third by the sewage department.

The mayor’s and clerk-treasurer’s salaries come out to $2,301.70 each bi-weekly, and each city council member will make $1,215 quarterly.

After approving the ordinances, council members heard updates from department heads.

Water Department Superintendent Jeff Boyle said his staff is trying to get meters changed out, and asked citizens to call the department to schedule a time for their property to be serviced.

“We’re having a really rough time catching people at home,” Boyle said.

Park Director Travis Brimhall said he was working on updates of his own. In the past week and a half, Brimhall said the Park Department had planted about seven trees.

At the meeting, he said he was planning paving projects for September and also updates and cleanup for baseball diamonds and the Jennie Thompson garden.

Council member Chris Fought also came back with an update on the video unveiled at the last meeting, which showcased Ligonier’s murals, trails and people.

Fought said the video did well, reaching more than 64,300 people on Facebook.

“It’s getting shared all over the country,” Fought said. “It was well worth the money spent.”

The next city council meeting is 7 p.m. Aug. 26 on the second floor of City Hall.

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