Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

June 4, 2013

Goshen firefighters will receive raise

GOSHEN — Goshen firefighters are getting a raise.

The Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety approved a contract with the firefighters union Monday. According to city attorney Larry Barkes, the contract calls for firefighters to receive a 4 percent pay increase this year and a 2.75 percent increase in 2014.

According to Barkes, other highlights to the contract include: firefighters paying $53.50 per week for health insurance and in 2014 firefighters will contribute 20 percent of the cost of health insurance; a $400 annual uniform allowance; clarifications in the grievance process; and 12 hours sick leave each month. In addition, if a firefighter has at least 720 hours of sick time accumulated, they may sell up to 144 hours of that time back to the city at a rate of $4.25 per hour. Firefighters with at least 2,880 hours sick time accumulated, may sell back up to 72 hours annually. Retiring firefighters who have 2,160 to 2,880 accumulated sick hours, may sell all that time back to the city.

The Goshen City Council is expected to vote on the contract today.

Contracts

The board approved four contracts and a change to a fifth. They are:

• JP Developers Inc. will be paid $5,200 to replace stamped concrete inlay at 115 S. Eighth St., which was removed for a utility repair.

• Sunrise Sprinkler Systems Inc. will be paid $3,900 to install a landscape sprinkler system at 320 Steury Ave., the site of the Goshen Central Garage.

• The purchase of a home at 1201 College Ave. for $79,500 so that the city’s fire station next to the home can be expanded in the future.

• An amendment that adds $672 to the Dickerson Landing Phase II sewer project. The amendment is for a change in the type of cleanout access installed.

• An agreement with JP Developers for $63,027 to create a gravel parking lot at Fidler Pond. The pond is being developed into a public park.

Building hearings

The board also heard three building ordinance disputes and tabled two of them.

The board took action to have a house at 1215 Hickory St. demolished.

Barkes told the board that the former owners have died and no estate was established. He also said family members have indicated they do not have the resources to have the property cleaned and repaired.

The city will pay for the demolition and the cost will be placed on the property as a lien. The board gave a 30-day notice of the pending demolition.

The other two disputes involve houses owned by Ron Davidhizar of Goshen.

Building department inspectors had found a house at 114 S. 29th St. to be in violation of city codes.

Davidhizar said most of the repairs ordered have been completed but painting was delayed to the recent rainy weather. The board gave him until Friday to complete the work.

Davidhizar also disputed the claim by building inspectors that he had not completed most of the work on a house at 602 N. Fifth St.

He did say that one repair is pending. Birds are nesting within the walls of the house, according to Davidhizar and he has not yet evicted the birds or repaired the holes in the siding they are using.

Other ordered repairs, including tuck pointing, painting and siding were completed, according to Davidhizar. Building inspectors said the repairs had not been completed as of Monday morning. The board decided to revisit the issue Monday to see if inspectors and Davidhizar have reached an agreement on if the work is completed.

Street closures

The board approved several street and alley closures. They are:

• Fifth Street from Crescent to Middlebury streets, on Aug. 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for the Chamberlain Elementary School back-to-school ice cream social.

• Clinton Street from an alley to Fifth Street June 15 for a carnival at Goshen City Church of the Brethren.

• Cottage Avenue west of 412 E. Purl St. Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. for a graduation open house at the home of Gina Leichty and Ben Stutzman.

• Ind. 119 (Plymouth Avenue) from 7 a.m. to noon July 13 for the parks department’s Kids’ & Teen’s Try-Athlon.

 

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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