September 30, 2014

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Early retirements to raise funds for repairs

BRUNSWICK — City officials hope to raise money for road repairs by offering an early retirement package for eligible city employees.

In recent years, the city has budgeted about $300,000 a year to fix city streets, which is only enough to fund minor projects, Ward 3 Councilman Joe Delsanter said.

“We are looking to take the net realized money and put it into road improvement funds without raising taxes,” he said. “This gives us the opportunity to put a much larger sum into maintenance.”

The early retirements would save the city at least $250,000 within the next year and could rise to $450,000 a year from 2010 to 2013, a City Council statement said.

The early retirements are available to employees who are within two years of being eligible under the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). The retiring employees would not be replaced, which is how the city will save money, Delsanter said.

Up to 15 employees are currently eligible to participate, and Delsanter said about 10 have expressed interest so far.

Police and fire department employees are not eligible for the early retirement offer since they are on a different PERS pension plan, the statement said.

Exactly what road repairs would be completed first has not been determined yet since city officials do not know how many employees will participate in the early retirement program, Ward 2 Councilman Vince Carl said.

Council had a first reading of the proposal Monday night. Council met Tuesday night for a second reading and will meet again tonight at 6 to vote on the plan. In order to pass legislation, there must be three readings before Council can vote.

Finance Director Bill White said the requirements for early retirement under PERS are set by the state.

Contact Allison Wood at (330) 721-4050 or allisonwood@ohio.net.