City to give employees 1.5% raise

Hartselle offsets cost with worker insurance co-pay

The Hartselle City Council is considering giving every city employee a 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment in exchange for implementing a $20 per month employee co-pay for increasing health insurance costs.

However, employees that deserve a merit raise will not receive one during the next budget year.

At a work session Monday, councilmen Ken Doss, Bill Smelser and Mike Roberson discussed the pay increases as a part of its annual budget hearings.

Doss said he supported this proposal because all employees would receive a pay increase and the city’s $10.5 million budget would barely stay in the black.

“We felt like we needed to do something for all city employees,” Doss said. “At the same time, we also had to be concerned about the skyrocketing costs of health insurance. That’s the reason why I think we will have to implement an employee co-pay.”

Currently, the city pays all of the health insurance premiums for single coverage on its employees. Family coverage premiums are split 50-50 between the city and the employee.

At the end of the year, the city is expected to end the year with a balanced budget about $17,000 less expenses than projected revenues.

City Clerk/Controller Rita Lee also added that the city’s reserves will show a $443,000 loss due to its soccer field lighting project.

The city will receive TVA funding over the next five years to pay back the city’s up front expense.

Also included in this year’s budget is funding to update plans for the Thompson Road expansion project, which will expand the road to a five-lane road from a two-lane road from I-65 to U.S. 31.

The city is also planning to spend funding to pay for the city’s downtown flood mitigation plan.

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