Joliet police, fire departments seek added money for overtime costs
The Joliet Public Safety Committee at its meeting Tuesday took time to examine proposed budget amendments for the city’s police and fire departments.
“We’ve seen with both departments we’re exceeding what the budget has been, and it hasn’t just been a nominal amount,” City Manager David Hales said.
Joliet Police are asking for $500,000 to account for additional overtime costs needed to provide security at the old Joliet prison through the year’s end.
“We are at the point where we are getting electricity to the prison,” Hales said. “We are going to be in a situation with more lights. I don’t know what’ll happen with security cameras, but we are looking at modifying our security services out there to reduce the cost because of some of these other things that are going on.”
As for the fire department, they are seeking an estimated $1.3 million in added funding for overtime costs needed through the year’s end.
Fire Chief Joe Formhals said that what’s driving costs up are vehicle issues and staffing needs.
The city intends to use its existing fund balance to pay for the added costs.
Councilman Larry Hug criticized Hales and the department heads for being over budget.
“David [Hales], you and your team have to work within your means,” he said. “We passed a budget. You’ve done nothing to address this.”
Hales said in the next budget cycle, the police and fire departments will need to be more methodical in anticipating costs.
Moving forward, the city is looking to take into account what, if any, underage exists in the amount of full-time work put in by staff members.
“We want to take that into account, which normally drives up overtime,” Hales said.
In a 3-0 vote, officials advanced the proposed budget amendments with a positive recommendation.
This matter will be presented to the Joliet City Council for consideration at a later date.
Security contract advances
Also at the meeting, officials reviewed a request for the authorization of a one-year contract valued at $600,000 for security services at Riverwalk Homes.
It details that upgrades to building entrances and security cameras are in store for the apartment complex.
It remains unclear what the apartment complex’s previous owners spent to account for security measures. However, the costs, as presented to the committee, are in line with what’s been paid by the city of Joliet and the limited liability company to this point.
Hales said the amount of crime has dropped at Riverwalk Homes and noted that Holsten Development of Chicago has a good track record of working with security services to achieve this aim.
Holsten Development of Chicago is the city’s partner in the limited liability company.
Over time, the city intends to make further improvements on top off what’s been done in the past.
The contract was presented to the Joliet City Council at its Sept. 4 meeting, at which point officials decided to offer the award to Benford Protection Group.