Merrillville furloughs workers in budget move

Keywords Local Government

The northwestern Indiana town of Merrillville is requiring its employees to take five unpaid furlough days this year, along
with five more in the first half of 2010.

Town Council members voted yesterday to approve the plan, which they
said would save about $95,000. Councilmen said the town was facing a budget shortfall of about $162,000 this year and nearly
$1.3 million next year.

The action covers all 116 employees of the suburban town just south of Gary, including
49 police officers. About 35,000 people live in Merrillville.

Police union president David Degard said the department
was already about five officers short of its budgeted staffing and that more officers might leave the force because of the
furlough order. 


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