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Council sets policy on paying retirees’ insurance premiums

The Russellville City Council voted Monday night to implement a new policy that will allow the city to pay retirees’ health insurance premiums if they meet certain criteria.

The city will pay a retiree’s health insurance premium for a maximum of three years if the employee retires following a minimum of 25 years of continuous service to the city.

In the past, retirees have entered into individual agreements with the city once they retire. Oftentimes, the employee has not had 25 years of service and the agreement has sometimes called for payment of the insurance premium for a longer period of time than three years.

“We just need to put a policy in place that is fair to all employees so that everyone knows what the conditions are and what they can expect,” Russellville Mayor David Grissom said.

“It’s also fair to the city taxpayers that we put provisions in place that will enable the city to save money. But, it also gives the retirees three years to make insurance plans following their retirement.”

Council members David Palmer and William Nale suggested that amendments could be made to the policy that would allow retirees with 30 or more years of service to receive five years of premium coverage following retirement.

“If someone has 30 years of service and retires at the age of 60, then the five years would help them get to 65,” Palmer said.

“I just want to look at it and see what the different scenarios are that would help everybody – the retiree and the taxpayer.”

In other business, the council unanimously re-appointed Jerry Groce to the city school board.

“Jerry has done a great job and I am proud that is he going to continue to serve our schools and our students,” Grissom said.

Groce, who served on the city council for 16 years before choosing not to run again in 2004, has been on the city school board since 2005.

In other business, the council:

• appropriated $500 to the 40th Annual NACOLG Senior Citizen’s Appreciation Day on May 17

• passed a resolution in support of the 2nd Amendment right and industrial recruitment of firearms/ammunition/firearms components companies and businesses

• passed a resolution thanking Ron Riley and Riley Bridge for their work on the Underwood Road bridge repair project

• entered into a contract with Anthony Gardner to inspect the city’s bridges

• authorized Councilman Gary Cummings to organize the annual 4th of July celebration and execute contracts on behalf of the city.