KENT, N.Y. — After 788 days without a contract, Kent’s police dispatchers have finally reached an accord with the town.

Senior police dispatcher Caroline VanTassell said that although many issues were not addressed she was “somewhat pleased” with the settlement.

“Despite this, we have decided to ratify the new four-year pact and get on with our lives,” she said.

The contract is retroactive to Jan. 1, 1999, and is in effect until Dec. 31, 2002. It gives dispatchers 3 percent a year salary increases.

Dispatchers also received an additional 1 percent salary stipend for 1999 that reimburses them for the records work they perform.

Kent Supervisor Annmarie Baisley, who signed the agreement, said she, too, was pleased with the contract and relieved at the resolution.

“I only wish that it was settled two years ago. Negotiations dragged on for far too long,” she said.

A new dispatcher will earn $12 an hour this year under the new contract. After four years, that same dispatcher will make $15.54 an hour or $32,260 a year.


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005