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posted: 4/16/2014 5:30 AM

Wauconda dispatchers get raises, but their future remains unclear

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The fate of their jobs remains unknown, but Wauconda's police dispatchers received 2-percent pay raises on Tuesday.

Trustees unanimously approved the across-the-board salary bumps following a closed-door discussion at the end of the evening's village board meeting.

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The raises are retroactive to May 1, 2013. The dispatchers are represented by a labor union, and their last contract expired April 30, 2013.

They've been working since then under the terms of the expired deal.

The contract approved Tuesday doesn't resolve the ongoing debate about outsourcing 911 services, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said.

Village officials have said outsourcing 911 services could save $2.1 million over five years.

Lake Zurich's dispatch center has been eyed to provide the service.

If Wauconda closes its dispatch center, which is housed at the police station, 10 full-time and two part-time employees would be laid off.

Additionally, the Wauconda Fire Protection District and the police departments from Tower Lakes and Lakemoor, who use Wauconda's dispatchers, would need to shop for a new provider.

Wauconda voters were promised the service wouldn't be outsourced when they approved a tax increase for the fire protection district in 2010. However, Mayor Frank Bart has repeatedly criticized the referendum and those promises since he first ran for office last year.

In response to an audience member's question during Tuesday's meeting, Maxeiner said outsourcing is "on the back burner" while the board works on the budget and an effort to get drinking water from Lake Michigan.

He expects village staffers will be focusing on outsourcing again by mid-May.

The issue could be resolved this summer, Maxeiner said.

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