May 17—Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance:
Here is a quick overview of what
—Approved the sale of the remaining lots in the
They had requested the purchase of lots 2261, 2320 and 2321 on
—Approved the purchase of a
The department planned a new K-9 vehicle this year, but due to a tight order window, that didn’t happen, the police chief said.
However, they found a used vehicle available from KHP which was only used by one person, he said. This would become the practice/backup vehicle, with the current vehicle used for this purpose being used for the K9.
—Approved the 401a with-profits retirement plan for public safety personnel.
—Approved the continuation of the new
—Heard a report from the city administrator
—Approved a grain malt beverage license requested by
—Approved a pruner’s license for
—Approved abatements for waste and garbage violations at:
—Approved abatements for faulty weather protection violations at 1423 2lst., McCord Property Mgt. LLC.
—Abatements approved for nuisance from motor vehicles at: 1114 Holland Street, Stanley and Kreigh; 1318 Frey St., Petra and
Following the recommendation of a committee of the mayor, the
However, the approval was not unanimous: the members of the Council
First, city administrator
—Quarterly, the funds received will be divided by the total base salaries to determine a percentage. Then each employee will receive this percentage of their base salary, divided equally by pay period.
— Only uniformed police and firefighters would be eligible. Civilian positions within the two departments will not be included.
—The city will provide long-term disability insurance through Hartford. Cancer and Critical Illness coverage will not be provided.
—Employees become fully vested after 10 years. The current system is five.
—If an employee becomes permanently disabled, whether work-related or not, the employee automatically becomes 100% vested.
—There are leadership positions for which the city could hire employees knowing they are unlikely to stay long term (such as the Chief of Police
—Employees become eligible for profit-sharing from the 1st day of the new quarter following their hiring.
—The contribution rate for uniformed police and firefighters will increase from the current 4.5% to 7.15%. This reflects the rate they would have contributed if the city had joined KP&F, the
—The employer’s contribution rate will increase from 9.5% to 8.5%, to match the contribution rate of all other employees.
—All profit-sharing funds of an employee who leaves employment prior to vesting will be returned to the plan’s forfeiture fund. These funds will then be redistributed in equal shares to employees once a year.
—The new 401(k) Incentive Plan will begin
—Long-term disability coverage begins
—Amendments to the existing 401(k) defined contribution plan come into effect with the
“I have a few objections,” Councilwoman Towns said.
First, she saw the employee contribution requirement as potentially a hardship for staff members, especially as the cost of living continues to rise.
Second, “we already treat them differently,” she said. She appreciates their service and realizes the jobs are dangerous, but said “we may be going too far”.
The cities felt that there should be a cap on the city contribution percentage and that it should be kept closer to that of other city staff.
“The citizens of
Although only 2,000 residents voted in favour, everyone had a chance, he said.
“It’s not final,” said the mayor
Francis said committee members, which included police and firefighters, approved the plan.
Schmidt appointed the committee on
The committee included: Schmidt; Council members
In March, the council rejected two options to bolster pensions for uniformed first responders, as council members feared both would not be viable using sales tax alone and could result in property tax hikes. Instead, they opted to use sales tax money to create an internal profit-sharing plan for firefighters and police officers.
The tax is 0.20% and there is no sunset. The estimated turnover amounts to
On the table, three options. These included: Switch to
Until the change, the city offered a 401K retirement plan for all employees, including police officers and firefighters, through
Now the ununiformed staff members of the
The KP&F has been passionately endorsed by emergency personnel. They said it would make departments more competitive and help eliminate the rapid turnover that plagues both. It would also offer a guaranteed pension to retirees, which is not provided for by
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