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City Council Approves Fire Union Contract, Extends Video Gaming Moratorium


     Highlights from the July 17, 2023, Decatur City Council meeting include approval of the contract with the I.A.F.F. Local 505 Fire Union, and the extension of the pause on issuing any new video gaming license.

Fire Union Contract, Apparatus Purchase

     On Monday night the Decatur City Council approved a contract agreement for pay and benefits for the I.A.F.F. Local 505 Fire Union. This ends a 3+ year impasse as the last contract agreement expired at the end of 2019. This contract spans January 2020 through December 31, 2024. It was approved by the local fire union. Some of the highlights of the new contract include: backpay for salary increases and a 3 percent increase for 2024, a one-time-only $1,000 COVID stipend if the union member was continuously employed for 12 months between March 20, 2020, and December 31, 2021, and the contract establishes a new number of fire inspectors.

     In addition to the contract agreement, Council also approved new equipment and technology purchases for the fire department. The City will purchase 12 Opticom GPS Intersection Units, which allow emergency vehicles to travel safer through intersections that have traffic lights and arrive on scene faster. The fire department will also begin the replacement process for three pumper trucks. Council approved the purchase of three Pierce fire apparatus to replace two 2007 pumpers and one 2009 pumper for a cost not to exceed $2,325,000. Due to supply chain issues, it is estimated the equipment will not arrive and be operational until late 2025 or early 2026.

Video Gaming Moratorium Extended

     Council also agreed to extend the moratorium on issuing any new video gaming licenses. The pause will continue until December 31, 2023, or until the moratorium extension is repealed, whichever comes first. At its last city meeting, Council determined they wanted additional time to evaluate potential amendments to the City’s Alcoholic Beverage Code dealing with the regulation of video gaming in liquor establishments.

In Other Business

     In other business…Council approved the purchase of five E-Gen Flex Hybrid buses for Decatur Public Transit. Once these five are replaced, the entire Transit bus fleet will be newer than 2019. These hybrid buses are similar to the hybrid trolleys, but are a step-up in technology and efficiency. The buses will be paid for with a combination of federal and state Department of Transportation funds. The City will continue watershed protection thanks to another grant awarded from the Illinois EPA. Council approved the $250,000 grant during the meeting. This will help the City continue its work of reducing the amount of nutrients and sediment entering Lake Decatur. More information about these topics can be found in the City Council Agenda packet, downloadable/viewable here:

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