Tazewell County’s jail officers will receive pay raises dating back three years with the County Board’s approval of a new contract Wednesday night.


The board also set the stage for a $4.35 million road repair project in the rural Heritage Lake subdivision, to be financed by its residents over 25 years.


No board member voted against the county’s four-year contract with it corrections officers represented by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 98, who had worked without a contract or pay increases since their last one expired in December 2014.


Negotiations with the Sheriff’s Department required settlement by an arbitrator on several issues, including wages, insurance premiums, changes in compensatory time versus overtime and shift assignments involving women jail officers, who must perform certain duties involving female inmates under state law. The arbitrator sided with the department on the non-wage issues.


In total, the jail officers will receive a 7.5 percent pay increase – 1.5 percent for 2014, 1.75 percent for 2015, 2 percent for 2016 and 2.25 percent for 2017.


The board also voted unanimously to approve a development agreement that creates a special service area for the unincorporated Heritage Lakes community about a mile northeast of Mackinaw.


Established about 40 years ago, roads have deteriorated significantly in the subdivision of about 620 property owners and 1,300 residents, representatives of the Heritage Lakes Association have told the board.


Creation of the special service area will permit the board to borrow $4.35 million through a bond issue to improve Heritage Lake’s 12 miles of paved roads, with repayment through a special assessment on its properties.


The board issued notice of a public hearing to be held at 6 p.m. May 31 at the Tazewell County Justice Center to discuss plans to issue a property tax levy over 25 years to repay the bond issue.


Attorneys for the association have said the special-service-area tax won’t exceed about $700 per property annually, but the assessment remained undetermined pending the board’s approval and the public hearing. A reduction in association membership fees probably will offset some of the tax increase.

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