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Local

Village, Channahon police reach agreement with incremental wage increases

Fire district’s call volume increases in 2018 from past year

Channahon police have a new four-year contract after the village board approved the measure at its Monday night meeting.

The officers’ previous contract expired April 30, 2018, and the new one begins retroactively May 1 of last year.

The collective bargaining agreement between the village and the Metropolitan Alliance of Police Channahon Chapter No. 45 calls for a May 1, 2018, wage increase of 3 percent, a
2.75 percent increase in May 2019, a
2.5 percent increase in May 2020, and a 3 percent increase in May 2021.

Other changes in the new contract include $1,300 annual stipends for officers appointed to act as investigators and one-half hour’s pay per day for officers handling police K9s for at-home care of the dogs. The pay rate for K9 care is $15 per hour.

Care of the K9s was outlined in the contract, as well, and includes feeding the dogs on and off duty, kennel cleanup, light exercise on off-duty days and trips to the veterinarian.

Another change allows three workdays off for bereavement, rather than three consecutive workdays off.

Also Monday, Channahon Fire Chief John Petrakis gave his annual report to the board and reported the overall call volume to the department increased by 4 percent in 2018 over the year before.

The average “push-out” time was one minute, two seconds, and the average response time was five minutes.

The total fire loss in Channahon last year was $3.2 million, which Petrakis said was higher than usual because of the 18-wheeler truck center fire in March 2018 at 22600 Frontage Road West. That building did not have sprinklers, he told trustees.

“That semi inside was fully engulfed,” Petrakis said.

There was a large amount of smoke and heat damage inside the shop, he said, and the department estimated the temperature inside the building rose to more than 1,000 degrees, as determined by the type of structural damage.

Petrakis compared that incident with another that occurred on May 30 at 25407 Bell Road. A power strip had burned through wiring and had activated a smoke alarm at a business.

When firefighters quickly arrived, there was only a light haze of smoke in the building.

“Because of proper fire protection inside that building, we were able to mitigate that damage,” he said.

Petrakis said that in the next four or five years, the department will need to begin a building development plan for a new station that will be constructed on 3.8 acres east of Interstate 55, north of the Manor Motel.

The village board on Monday also approved the appointment of a new planning and zoning commissioner, Mike Pershey, who will replace outgoing Commissioner Jim Proffitt, who is moving out of state.

“Mike has lived in Channahon for more than 40 years,” Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher said. “He’s very level-headed, he’s very calm, and he thinks things through. He had approached me about getting involved in the community.”

Pershey said after he became involved in his union as a sheet metal worker, he decided he wanted to become involved in the village and do something good for the community.

“We’re in the crosshairs of the country at 55 and 80,” he said. “Growth is coming. It’s going to happen. I’ve worked in nine counties as a sheet metal worker, and I’ve seen a lot of towns develop over the last 30-some years. I’ve seen some of them develop properly and some not. Although I don’t have experience in planning and zoning, it seems like there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.”

Pershey and his wife, Sue, have three children, Gavin, 14; Zach, 20; and
Ian, 22.

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