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Two Officers, One Firefighter To Lose Jobs In Linton Due To Budget Deficit

Last updated on Wednesday, October 16, 2013

(LINTON) - Linton Mayor John Wilkes did not specify where the emergency personnel cuts would be made at the Linton City Council meeting Monday, but did confirm three employees would lose their job due to the budget deficit.

Wilkes did not say when or who would be let go.

Due to the need to cut approximately $250,000 from the Civil City Budget, it is believed two police officers from the Linton Police Department and one firefighter from the Linton Fire Department will be laid off.

The Civil City Budget encompasses the Linton Police Department, Linton Fire Department, Mayor's Budget, cemeteries and parks.

The Greene County Daily World reports that the budget for 2014 sits at $3,101,579, which is a 15 percent decrease from the 2013 budget. Some of the causes of the deficit stem from tax caps, a cut in County Option Income Tax (COIT) and other tax breaks that cannot be compensated in a town without large corporate contributions in tax dollars.

Wilkes says residents need to contact their legislators and stress the tax cuts are ultimately harming small communities like Linton.

Wilkes explained during the meeting Monday, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration before any layoffs will be set in motion.

The Linton Fire Department currently has two firefighters off work under workman's compensation. The fire department was originally informed they would be losing one member of the department as early as mid-November, but Eric Carpenter, who serves as president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 3087, says the layoff has temporarily been pushed back until the firefighters can be back on the job.

Linton Fraternal Order of Police President Paul Clark says following the meeting Monday, the police department should be anticipating the layoffs as soon as mid-November.

Clark believed the mayor could not say where cuts were coming from due to laws preventing discussion of personnel matters in a public meeting.

Clark says the layoff of two officers to the 11-member department could mean safety concerns for the officers who protect Linton.

The fire department has the same concerns, and has met with the president of the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana, Tom Hanify, and the budget is currently under review by an accountant to see if other cuts can be made to maintain the department.

City council members were emotional, after the 5-0 vote. Many making statements saying the decision was not easy, but current fiscal constraints left their hands tied.

Wilkes says if the city can find the money for the employees the budget could be amended after the first of the year.

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