HOPE – If final approval is given in November, Hope employees will receive a 2.5% cost of living increase next year.

That’s according to the city’s wages ordinance that received preliminary first reading approval this month. Final approval will be considered at the November 21 city council meeting.

Vice-Chairman Clyde Compton suggests 2.5% because that’s higher than the average cost of living increase of 1.7% in the United States. However, Compton said his proposal also takes into account higher expenses related to supply chain disruptions and production shutdowns by several companies.

“I felt it would be a good sharing,” Compton said.

In comparison, the city of Columbus passed a 2% cost of living increase, while the Bartholomew County government approved a 3% pay increase.

But once the vote was taken by Hope City Council, concerns were expressed about the higher wages needed to attract a new animal control officer, as well as utility workers and police officers who may be called at any time to manage an emergency. A motion that could include the 2.5% increase in on-call pay was approved unanimously.

With little or nothing changed since a preliminary budget was in place in August, city council also gave final approval to its 2022 budget. The total will be $ 1,509,376, about 16% more than the 1,302. $ 292 approved for this year.

But that figure includes $ 70,000 originally raised for COVID-19 relief purposes that was not earmarked for any particular expense, Hope Clerk-Treasurer Diane Burton said.

The local tax rate will raise $ 683,463 for the city’s general fund. The amount earmarked for maintenance of local roads and streets is tentatively set at $ 65,000, up $ 5,000 from this year.

The northeast Bartholomew County community of 2,200 will also receive:

  • $ 80,082 from its highway fund (up 21%)
  • $ 108,000 from the cumulative capital fund (up 12%)
  • $ 325,831 from economic development income tax (up 11%)
  • $ 20,000 casino / riverboat tax (up 33%)
  • $ 20,000 from income tax revenues for public safety (up 38%)

In addition, $ 40,000 has been set aside for road and street paving projects, council members said.

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