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Council discusses full health insurance

By Staff | Sep 9, 2016

Health insurance coverage rates for city employees are going up in the future.

Starting July 1 of next year, rates are expected to increase by 17.4 percent.

City Auditor Elizabeth Heisey said the League of Cities projects the insurance rates will only increase by 8.9 percent, but she said that number was uncertain.

The city’s Personnel committee recommended the council discuss full payment of employee health insurance rates. Heisey said the city pays 100 percent for single and has a 75-25 split for families, and that next year the family rate would increase to $412.

Police Chief John Rose said he would like the city to look into increase the rates.

Ward 2 Councilman Gary Kraft said that some employees would feel that staying at the current 75-25 split would not be ideal, but increasing to 100 percent coverage would increase everything else in the budget.

Ward 4 Councilman Chuck Longie said he would like to see an 80-20 split.

Ward 4 Councilwoman Sue Steinke said she would rather see rates between 75 and 80 percent.

Ward 3 Councilmen Joel Berg and Tim Bartsch, Sr.; Ward 1 Councilmen Bruce Allen Rheault and Neil Lotvedt; and Ward 2 Councilman Randy Fossum said they would like the rates to stay at the current 75-25 split.

Other actions

– The council approved a request from Nathan & Leah Kunde, Amber Sattler and Mark Simonson to vacate the south portion of an alleyway. The request had previously been approved by the city Planning & Zoning board in August.

– The council discussed the 2017 preliminary budget. A public meeting on the proposed budget will be held Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Otter Tail meeting room.

– The council approved a motion to research calcium chloride as a means of dust control on the east side of the street near Parkland Trailer Court.

– The council approved a beer and wine license for Big Pauly’s pizza.

– The council approved special events permit requests for Rugby Dollars for Scholars, Lions Club International, Little Flower PTO and the Heart of America Medical Center Auxiliary.

– The council discussed the preliminary engineering report for the Water Treatment Plant improvement projects.

– The council approved the final pay estimate of $660,077.44 to ASTECH for the city chip seal project with one no vote. Fossum voted no, as he said certain areas of the final project went $10,000 over budget.

– The council approved the August meeting minutes, bills, financial statements and Municipal Judge’s report.

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