Post employment benefits currently pay for half of insurance costs after retirement for those with at least 10 years of service. The purpose of discontinuing the benefit would be to reduce the city's liability.
Adairsville Clerk of Court Wanda McCollum addressed the council on the issue as she has been employed with the city for 32 years.
"My hope would be that the city review it further, consider possibly changing maybe from the 10 years up to 15 or 20, or what might be a better idea would be to grandfather in the employees that were here before the policy. Either way, I would like to see something done as an alternative to totally doing away with the benefit all together," McCollum said.
Numbers reported at the Tuesday work session were clarified at Thursday's regular meeting. The $600,000 figure reported is an unfunded future liability determined by an actuary based on insurance market trends and 11 separate variables. The amount actually paid out is much lower, rising in 2009 to more than $8,000. The recommendation for action was done in response to possible future liabilities.
"In 10 years, I feel that these numbers, unless the city grew greatly and became rich, we'd have a hard time meeting some of these numbers. What I wanted to clarify was that $600,000, but obviously, if you limit this to a small number of employees, that's going to drop drastically," said Roger Freeman, city finance director.
Possibilities briefly discussed included increasing the tenure from 10 years to 15 or 20, thereby reducing the number of qualified applicants at any one time as well as reducing the time span between retirement and Medicare or Medicaid eligibility.
The item will be further reviewed and voted on at a future meeting.
The addition of a "low-income disabled persons" discount to the new water rate structure was approved Thursday as was a replacement bar screen for the North Wastewater Treatment Plant. The rate structure was approved in December to help fund needed maintenance and upgrades such as the new bar screen costing $76,587.
Also finding approval Thursday was authorization for Mayor Evan King to sign a resolution for phase five of the Transportation Enhancement Streetscape Project.
Housekeeping items for the first of the year included re-electing Councilman Buddy Bagley as mayor pro-tem and approval of city maintenance crews to continue lawn and ground care.
Added to the agenda and approved Thursday was the proposed budget for City of Adairsville confiscated assets at $20,368.
Lastly, a malt beverage package license for Shell Food Mart at 932 Highway 140 and transfer of malt beverage and wine pouring license for Station 41 at 5701 Joe Frank Harris Parkway were approved.