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.
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.
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.
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.
Goshen firefighters are getting a raise.
- Breaking News
UPDATE: Westview student in critical condition after crash
A Westview High School student remained in critical condition Friday afternoon following a two-vehicle crash Thursday in LaGrange County.
Jaid Rex, 16, was listed in critical at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne. Her sister, Mikayla Rex, 18, was listed in fair condition Friday.
Home invasion suspect pleads guilty in court
One of the suspects involved in a home invasion, where a New Paris couple were confined in their home, pleaded guilty to several felonies this morning in Elkhart Circuit Court.
Two injured near Emma this morning
he LaGrange County Sheriff's Department is reporting one person was airlifted to Fort Wayne and another taken to Parkview LaGrange by ambulance from a crash at 200 South and Ind. 5 shortly before 8 a.m. today near Emma. Police are still working at the scene of the accident and motorists are advised to find an alternate route.
72-year-old among arrested drug suspects
Five face felony charges.
Meth lab found in Middlebury
Police raided a suspected methamphetamine lab in Middlebury Monday.
Middlebury police went to a residence in Crystal Valley Mobile Home Park, 206 York Drive, around 12:30 p.m. regarding a possible lab, according to town Police Chief Mike McCloughen.
Man pleads guilty in Twin Pines home invasion
One of the men charged in connection with a November home invasion in Goshen has pleaded guilty to the crime.
Antoine A. McDuffie, 21, Elkhart, pleaded guilty in Elkhart Circuit Court Monday to Class B felony charges of armed robbery, burglary, criminal confinement and conspiracy to commit burglary.
Man who robbed Bristol bank sentenced
A South Bend man has been sentenced for robbing a Bristol bank as well as a bank in Edwardsburg, Mich., last year.
Darius Witherspoon, 21, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in South Bend this week to nearly 13 years in prison with three years of supervised release.
Supreme Industries sells shuttle-bus business
Goshen's Supreme Industries sells its shuttle bus business to Forest River Inc.
Water in Millersburg should be boiled after water main breaks
A boil order for the entire town of Millersburg has been issued after a water main break Friday.
Minor injuries in 12-vehicle pile up near Nappanee
Minor injuries sent several victims to local hospitals following a 12-vehicle pile up along Ind. 19 near Nappanee Thursday afternoon.
- More Breaking News Headlines
- UPDATE: Westview student in critical condition after crash