2017-01-19 / News

St. Ignace Council Approves Raises for City’s Fire Department; 2017 City Budget Accepted

By Erich T. Doerr

The St. Ignace City Council approved a $1 raise for the city’s fire department staff at its Monday, January 16, meeting. The raise is for their wages across the board covering meetings, emergency calls, and their hourly work. The pay increase for the fire department is the first for the department’s main staff in five years and the first for its officers in three.

The approved raises mean the regular firefighters will now be paid $16 for regular calls and meetings and $19 for calls involving the use of water. If firefighters have to remain on a call for more than one hour, their hourly wage for the second hour will now be $12. Payment for the chief will be $19 for meetings and regular calls, $24 for calls with water, and $14 per hour. Officers will receive $17 for regular calls and meetings, $21 for calls with water, and a $13 hourly wage.

Mayor Pro-Tem Steven Paquin presided over Monday’s meeting in the absence of Mayor Connie Litzner. He also answered questions as the city’s assistant fire chief, but abstained from voting because it would be a conflict of interest.

A short public hearing on the city’s 2017 budget was held to correct the council’s oversight in not holding a hearing before it approved the budget Monday, December 19. The council repealed the former budget and then approved a slightly modified version following the two-minute hearing Monday. This year’s city budget now totals $7,418,699 after minor adjustments were made during the last month. City Manager Les Therrian said the city would find out what its new taxable value is in March. He said he hopes it will go up.

Police Sergeant Allen Mitchell told council members a new allwheel drive Ford Taurus police car has been ordered from Mackinac Sales in St. Ignace. No delivery date has been set.

The department would like to buy three more stun guns and two more body cameras for its officers and is seeking grants to do so. They would be added to the inventory of two electroshock weapons and three cameras the department recently purchased.

At the request of the Department of Public Works, police will ask private snowplow operators not to push snow into city streets, especially after the city has plowed the streets. The illegal practice causes a safety hazard and requires the city to plow a second time.

First responders are also noticing the removal of some house numbers in the city, probably during remodeling or painting, and are asking residents to reinstall them. The numbers are vital to police, fire, and ambulance crews when responding to emergencies.

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