City council wants to save money on pension payments

Published 2:55 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

In a move to save the City of Middlesboro money, the city council voted Monday night to repeal an ordinance that would pay pension funds for a person rehired to a city department.

“It is a tool to help save the city money in very difficult financial times,” Mayor Rick Nelson said. “An example is, we hire a brand new police officer and we pay his salary — same with the fire or street department — and we have to pay the state of Kentucky about 45 percent in pension funds.

“If we hire somebody that is already retired, we pay zero because they are already drawing a pension,” he said. “This is a savings for the city because if we hire somebody that has already been hired, there is no pension obligation.

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The city could save of up to $17,000 because of the change.

The council voted in favor of the change ollowing a second reading to repeal the ordinance.

Councilman Bo Green, who was sitting in on his first meeting since his appointment to the council, had questions about the change, and whether it was the right decision.

He was the only council member to vote against it.

“I agree with the idea,” Green said. “I just think that maybe we could have replaced it with something. I’m new here so I didn’t get the full discussion leading up to it so, I vote no.”

The repeal took effect on Tuesday.