Pueblo's police and fire departments will not be receiving pay increases in 2014. That was the decision in Monday night's (11/25/13) budget meeting.
However, police will have step increases throughout the year. Those are periodic increases in pay based on seniority. Health benefits will stay the same for officers.
For the fire department, no step increases will be provided, but the city will pay a larger portion of health insurance costs.
These budget constraints are difficult, but both departments plan to work with what they are given.
“Everyone would like more money, more insurance and everything. So it makes it a little difficult going in, but they’ve been real good, working hard at it. Hopefully, things will improve,” said Pueblo Interim Fire Chief Dale Villers.
“The longer that the economy stays in the doldrums the more it affects all of our employees. Every one of them, including my myself are looking to see the economy change around in Pueblo and for that matter the rest of the state of Colorado,” said Pueblo Police Chief Luis Velez.
Those budget changes go into effect January 1 and last through the entire year.
City council also approved a budget item related to a Colorado Department of Transportation “step toward reducing fatalities grant”.
City councilwoman Eva Montoya said budget constraints forced the city to lay off the Director of Planning, Julie Ann Woods. City council did not make that decision.