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Harmony discusses health insurance hikes and wage step policy


Fri, Dec 17th, 2010
Posted in Government

There was much discussion at the recent Harmony City Council meeting about changes to the benefits for city employees. The Personnel Committee gave their recommendations to the council for approval.

The council approved the recommendation to allow employees to cash in some of their PTO per month to pay their health insurance premiums. People on the family insurance plan can cash in up to 12 hours a month, and six hours a month for single plans. The money they cash in will go into their VEBA account.

Illg said the health insurance has increased 18 percent this year. It also increased 18 percent last year, and the employees paid the increase. At one time, the city paid 100 percent of the premiums, but now employees pay 28 percent.

Another item approved was in regards to PTO (Paid Time Off) accrual. It used to be that a person could accrue up to 720 hours of PTO during their career. When a person retires, they can cash that in. The new plan allows a person to accrue an extra 120 hours that can be used only if the 720 is already used up. This allows a person insurance in case of an emergency leave. When retirement comes, they can still only cash in up to 720 hours.

Holiday pay was also changed slightly. When a person works on a holiday, not only will they get paid eight hours of holiday pay, they will also get time and a half if they work any hours that day. The original plan paid the person straight time if they worked.

There were two other recommendations involving employee reviews and insurance. The committee chose not to compensate an employee if they choose not to take the health insurance. They will also be coming up with a new questionnaire for employee reviews.

The one recommendation that was not approved during the meeting was in regards to the step policy. Right now, once a person has worked for the city for ten years, they no longer get any raises other than a possible cost of living raise. The recommendation was to change it so a person gets a four percent raise after 15, 20, 25, and 30 years of employment as well.

Council member Dan Tieffenbacher had a few questions and concerns about this change. "We are putting this expense on the city and adding costs. Why are we doing all of this at one time?"

Council member Gerald Shuck told Tieffenbacher that they can take this raise into account when deciding on a cost of living raise. This would just be guaranteeing them a small increase .....
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Spring Valley City Council adopts levy and budget for 2011

Fri, Dec 17th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council has adopted the budget for 2011 and it reflects some additional cuts that were made by City Administrator Deb Zimmer. She told the Council that she has been working with the department heads and reported that the stree ..... 
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Planning Commission recommends CUP approval

Fri, Dec 17th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of a Conditional Use Permit for a 34 kW wind turbine and tower at their December 16 meeting.

David Eid, Renewable Energy SD, explained the Enertech 44 A wind turbine w ..... 
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Canton City Council 2011 tax levy approved

Fri, Dec 17th, 2010
Posted in Government

The regular meeting of the Canton City Council met on Wednesday, December 1, 2010. Mayor Donivee Johnson called the meeting to order. Council members present were Cindy Shanks, Hank Selden, Ross Duckett and Carl Ernst. Also present were Lolly Meland ..... 
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Commissioner Bakke to lead AMC

Sat, Dec 11th, 2010
Posted in Government

At the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) annual meeting held in St. Cloud December 6 through 8, Fillmore County District 4 commissioner Duane Bakke was elected as president of the organization which represents all 87 counties in Minnesota. Onl ..... 
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Preston approves final assessment roll for 2010 improvements

Sat, Dec 11th, 2010
Posted in Government

After a belated discussion with property owner Greg Johnson, the Preston City Council adopted the assessment roll for the 2010 street improvements at the council's December 7 meeting.

The discussion was belated because the final assessment ..... 
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City of Rushford Village discusses roads

Sat, Dec 4th, 2010
Posted in Government

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

The November 9, 2010, regular meeting was called to order by Mayor Gordon Johnson at 7:00 p.m. Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, Elizabeth Atkinson, Dale Schwanke. Also present: Zoning A ..... 
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Fillmore Central's audit receives clean bill of health

Sat, Nov 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

Steve Salveson of Smith Schafer was at the Fillmore Central School Board meeting to go over the recent audit with the board members.

Salveson went over the Average Daily Membership, which has decreased 23 percent since 2003. He then looked ..... 
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Repairs plans for bridges listed for closure

Sat, Nov 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

County Engineer John Grindeland updated the board at their November 23 meeting on options to repair or replace the seven bridges that have been listed as "critical bridges" by the special State Aid consultants. Grindeland has not yet received a full ..... 
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