( BEDFORD) – The Bedford City Council members voted to give City full-time employees a $1,000 stipend from CARES Act funds during their meeting Tuesday night.
Prior to the Bedford City Council meeting, a public hearing was held to move a total of $169,500 from the line item of General Unappropriated to the line item of General Administration so the funds could be tracked for accounting purposes.
There are a total of 158 out of the 169 employees who will be receiving the funds. One vacant part-time dispatcher position and seasonal employees of the city will not receive the stipend.
Bedford City employees did not receive a raise in the 2021 budget according to Brad Bough Bedford City Council members.
The city has approximately $390,000 leftover in CARES Act funds with the payment of the stipend a total of $235,236 will remain for the city to use on other needs.
During the stipend discussion, Dan Bortner Bedford City Council member again asked that the city conduct a wage study, as he requested in January of 2020.
The wage study is especially needed for public safety officials such as police officers and firefighters. ” The wage may start out well, for the new employee, but after 20-30 years of service we may loose veteran employees to find better pay,” said Bortner.
Bedford Mayor Sam Craig told city council members the city is already looking into some of the salary issues that the city is experiencing.
“There are some employees, who make more than the Clerk-Treasurer and you already know how much work the Clerk-Treasurer does. There were times over the years where previous clerk-treasurers for gone a raise which has caused some issues,” Mayor Craig stated.
“We must be able to attract and retain good quality employees,” said Bortner.
The two Bedford departments that experience the most employee turn over due to compensation are the police and utilities departments.
The city has began their own comparative research on similar size cities within the state of Indiana versus hiring an outside study resource.