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Library OKs 1 percent raises

Allen County Public Library employees will receive 1 percent pay increases next year and will see no increase in health insurance costs.

The library’s board of trustees approved the pay and benefit changes during its monthly meeting Thursday.

Library officials included a possible 2 percent pay increase in next year’s $23 million budget. But with the possibility of future shortfalls, officials thought it wise to reduce that to a smaller increase, library Director Jeff Krull said.

The additional pay raise will cost about $135,000, Finance Manager Dave Sedestrom said.

The library will also cover the 3 percent increase in employees’ health premiums so staff won’t see any increases, Krull said.

The library had budgeted for a much larger health insurance increase, he said.

Since 2008, the library has aggressively cut costs and boosted revenue to make up for a loss in property tax revenue. New caps on property taxes cost the library $300,000 this year and will shrink the budget by $1.5 million next year.

In 2011, the caps are expected to have an even greater effect on local government budgets, and income tax revenue is expected to be down reflecting the current recession.