NILES -- Neither wage nor benefit enhancements are included in the 2013 budget approved Monday night by the Niles Township Board but all may not be as it seems, according to Supervisor Jim Stover.
Adjustments could be made following employee evaluations in April or May, Stover said, adding firefighter contract negotiations also are on the horizon. It's possible but not automatic, he said, that adjustments could be made retroactive to Jan. 1 when the fiscal year begins.
As for as the board, Stover will receive $22,000 in 2013, Clerk Terry Eull $20,000, Treasurer James Ringler $20,000 and trustees Richard Noble, Herschel Hoese, Christine Vella and Dick Cooper $5,000 each. The wages are the same the board received this year.
"That's not what I was promised ... kidding, kidding,'' Stover joked.
The new budget features a $15,000 decrease in expenditures and a boost in revenue of $50,000. Eull said earlier Monday the revenue increase resulted from a hike in state revenue-sharing funds.
The 2013 general fund budget is about $80,000 in the black, he said.
Following a report by the Berrien County Sheriff's Department on police activity in the township for the month of October, Ringler pointed to an inordinate number of false alarms -- eight -- from one location in particular. Ringler said an ordinance assessing fines when false alarms exceed a certain amount might be in order.
Stover went further, promising an ordinance will be forthcoming. He indicated false alarms have the potential of delaying police responses to actual emergencies elsewhere.
"This (ordinance) may upset 50 people but, if it saves one life, that's OK,'' he said.
Staff writer Lou Mumford: