employees can still hope for their biannual longevity pay despite snags in
the county share of casino revenues.
The Porter County
Council learned at its meeting this week that, according to budget
specialist Vicki Urbanik, there is a negative balance of $111,243 in the
Riverboat Fund after starting $23,000 in the black at the first of the year.
The fund was used to pay employee’s PERF and FICA costs.
$179,250 was put before the Council as the first installment of the bonus
“It’s drying up,”
said Council President Dan Whitten, D-at large.
longevity, most of the fund is used to reimburse the County and
municipalities for their undercover drug task forces.
There is a $250,000
fund that the drug task force draws from and so far $135,000 has been spent
this year, Urbanik said.
The casino fund
should be replenished with a little more than $400,000, Urbanik said, when
the County gets its distribution, expected in August.
The Council ended
up voting 7-0 on a motion made by Council member Jim Polarek, R-4th, to
approve the full request for longevity pay pending receipt of distribution
from the state.
Whitten said that
there will not be enough for the second scheduled payout of longevity from
the casino revenue at the end of the year with the drug task force and the
prosecutor’s office both using the money.
“We don’t have
enough money in this account to do those two things, so we’ll have to
discuss how we want to do this,” he said.
Council member Jim
Biggs, R-1st, questioned if this was going to be a decision of whether to
fund longevity or drug enforcement.
Whitten said that
decision would come down to the second draw of longevity.
For that payout,
Whitten said the Council should consult the Board of Commissioners to see if
there is enough money in one of the county economic development income tax
funds for the employees’ bonus pay.
According to the
pay scale, longevity payments start after a full-time county employee has
been with the county for three years of service at which time $225 is added
to their salary.
The next raise
happens after the employee has reached five years with an addition of $375
and the scale continues to rise in five year increments -- $750 after 10
years, $1,125 for 15 years, $1,500 for 20 years, $1,875 for 25 years, and
maxes out at thirty years with $2,250.
The County for the
past ten years has issued longevity pay using its share of casino revenues
and collections have slowed considerably during the past four or five years.
At one time the
County was receiving more than $600,000, Urbanik said.
Shortfalls in the
fund started last year and the Council then looked to CEDIT funds fill the