News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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October 13, 2012

Council passes pay increases for City Hall workers, mayor, others

TERRE HAUTE — At their meeting Thursday night, members of the Terre Haute City Council rezoned property at 25th and Hulman streets to allow for a new Dollar General to be constructed.

The 9,100-square-foot store will be on the southeast corner of the intersection. The project received a favorable recommendation from the Vigo County Area Planning Department and the Area Plan Commission earlier this month.

Also Thursday, the council voted to remove the traffic signal, now just a flashing yellow or red light, from the intersection of Fruitridge and Wabash avenues. A traffic study showed that the signal was no longer needed, said Chuck Ennis, city engineer. Ordinary stop signs will be used to stop traffic on Fruitridge. The signalized stop at Wabash and Blakely, one block to the east, will remain in place.

The council also heard plans from the city engineering department to replace illuminated stop signs on North Seventh Street and replace them with standard stop signs. The illuminated signs are at the intersection of North Seventh and Chestnut streets.

Several councilman said they favor the illuminated signs. However, Ennis said those signs are not in compliance with traffic codes and the engineering department would prefer to use approved signs.

Finally, the Council also approved 2-percent pay increases for City Hall employees, the mayor, the city judge and the City Clerk’s office for next year. They voted 5-4 to approve the mayor’s salary increase. The other increases passed unanimously.

The council also defeated an ordinance to increase their own salaries in 2013 by 2 percent. That vote was also unanimous.

“I’m really concerned about the message we’re going to be sending if we pass these two” pay raises, said Councilman Jim Chalos, D-at large, who urged the council to block their own pay increase and the mayor’s. In view of the city’s general fund deficit, other councilmen agreed to block their own pay raise, but not those for other city employees, including the mayor.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@

tribstar.com.

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