At the Cloverdale Town Council meeting on Tuesday, the board discussed and finally approved the employee handbook. Although, there were very minor changes made, employee benefits will be one of the major things changing.
In the past the town paid 99 percent of the insurance premiums, leaving the employee to only pay the last 1 percent. Due to the economy, current budget and the rising costs of health insurance is not something they can afford. The town will now set limits on what they will pay no matter how high the premium may be.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2012 the Town of Cloverdale will contribute just $758.88 per month for employees only; the town will pay $843.61 for employees and spouses per month; as well as $1,457.15 per month for employee and family.
"It's a significant change for the employees," council president Cathy Tipton said. "The employee will be paying a much larger portion of the premium as the town can not continue to keep paying 99 percent for insurance."
Although, many town employees do not yet know about the changes, they will be receiving a notice in the coming weeks. The ones who are informed of the change are not too fond of it.
"They don't like it," said Utility Manager Rich Saucerman of his employees. "It's the best of all alternatives we have I guess."
The new benefit plan will deduct money from the employee's check every two weeks. The town is not yet sure of what the new premiums will be. However, it is certain the employee will be paying a lot more out of pocket for insurance coverage.
The board also debated on reducing the number of holidays employees would have off. The holidays in question were Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Veterans Day.
"It's not costing you more money," explained Saucerman. "It is a benefit to have those days off as a government employee."
The board eventually decided to keep all holidays as they are. They also added that employees would have off election days that take place in Cloverdale.
The board also received an update from Saucerman on the standpipe project.
"It's coming along real good," said Saucerman. "It may take a little longer but with the inspector we are moving right along."
Sanding has already been started on the outside of the pipe and they are getting ready to prime the inside. As of now they are on schedule to finish on time by Saturday, Oct. 29.