Keokuk, IA – Some members of the Keokuk Police Department will be getting a pay hike. An arbitrator has ruled that the 19 officers and dispatchers in the police bargaining unit will receive a 4.5% pay hike in the fiscal year that begins in July. In his ruling, the arbitrator cited how hourly wages for the officers in the bargaining unit are far below other law enforcement officers in Southeast Iowa. Furthermore, he says over the last 7 years, the gap in hourly wages between the Keokuk bargaining unit and other Southeast Iowa law enforcement officers has also increased significantly.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk's top law enforcement officers says financial constraints continue to impact his department. The police department's current and upcoming budgets have been under close scrutiny by the Keokuk City Council. The discussions about the spending plans have focused on staffing levels, administrative duties, overtime, and responses to calls for service. Police Chief Tom Crew says the department's current financial situation is having an impact on daily law enforcement operations.
Carthage, IL – Joseph Barlow is the new coordinator for Hancock County's new centralized ambulance system. Barlow is currently with the Adams County emergency system. He begins in Hancock County early next month. County Board Health and Miscellaneous Committee Chairman Ken Nudd says Barlow's experience in setting up computer systems, office systems and communication systems were in part responsible for his being hired. The new system will put ambulance operations in Carthage, LaHarpe, Warsaw and Augusta into one system.
Fort Madsion, IA – Water rates will soon be on the rise in Fort Madison. The city council has approved the final reading of a measure to increase all water rates, effective April 1. The monthly water bills for residential and commercial customers will increase by about 25%. City Manager Bill Kelly says the only change from the original plan is the wholesale rate offered to Rathbun Regional Water Association. He says that rate was to go up to $2.00/1000 gallons purchased. That will now be $1.80/1000 gallons.