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No salary increase on the horizon for Spring Hope police officers

Posted on June 17, 2022

Local news
Spring Hope residents hold signs supporting salary increases for police officers outside a town board meeting Friday.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

Spring Hope residents hold signs supporting salary increases for police officers outside a town board meeting Friday.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com

Spring Hope police officers will have to make do with a 3% cost of living adjustment for the upcoming fiscal year.

Commissioners held a special meeting Friday to vote to balance the ending 2021-22 budget but didn’t discuss the 2022-23 budget.

A small crowd of residents showed up to show support for police officers.

They held signs outside town hall before the meeting. Signs have also been posted around town asking for a raise for local law enforcement.

The commissioners voted to approve the new budget earlier this month.

At that meeting, Police Chief Nathan Gant requested his officers receive a pay raise. Gant said it would cost the town money if an officer leaves. He said that with the amount of vacation and comp time his officers have accrued the town would have to pay out around $4,000 to any of them if they left for employment elsewhere. That’s on top of the cost to train and equip new officers. Gant gives his annual pay increase he receives as chief to his officers.

Patrol officers in Spring Hope earn around $34,000 a year.

Town Manager Andrew DeIonno said the town simply can’t afford staff pay increases without a stiff property tax increase, which would mean Spring Hope would have one of the highest property tax rates in the state.

Residents started an online fundraiser to donate to police officers. Local fundraisers have also been discussed.

DeIonno said he conferred with town attorney Mark Edwards who determined that any money given to the town on behalf of police officers couldn’t be used for salaries but would have to be spent on equipment.

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