If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
by Mark Cheffey
Palmyra City Council members were pleased with the proposed employee health insurance plan for the coming year, after hearing about it during last Thursday’s regular meeting.
While the overall cost for the plan proposed by the city’s current carrier, MIRMA, will go up 11 percent for 2024, council members felt the increase was acceptable and still the most economical of plans available with no change to benefits.
“I think it’s reasonable,” said Council Member Ellen Goodwin, Finance Committee chair, after meeting recently with a MIRMA representative.
Goodwin noted the representative said the increase results from Palmyra’s newness to the program and because of some major claims.
“I just thought it was a good deal,” Goodwin said.
Council Member Brock Fahy, who lead the meeting as mayor pro tem in place of Mayor Rusty Adrian, agreed with Goodwin’s assessment.
“We’re still saving a lot of money compared to before,” Fahy said.
Goodwin said the added cost comes down to about $100 per employee per month. But, she said, the costs would be absorbed by the city at no increase to employees.
A proposal for promotions and raises for two officers requested by Police Chief Eddie Bogue generated discussion, both pro and con, during Thursday’s meeting.
Council Member Patrick Barnes, Police Committee chair, reported Bogue had requested that Cpl. Patrick Anderson and Officer Mitch Carey receive promotions and raises starting Dec. 1 as part of a leadership building effort within the department.
Barnes said Bogue, who was not at Thursday’s meeting, has indicated a desire to retire within the next five years and that it was important to boost leadership as well as help retain police officers.
Goodwin objected to the immediate promotions and raises in the middle of a budget year, and said she would prefer they be brought up during budget discussions for the coming fiscal year.
Council Member Pam Behring agreed the request was coming too quickly.
“I’m not for that,” Behring said.
Fahy noted that retaining police officers was important, given the difficulty in hiring new ones and said it is important to maintain a strong police department.
“That is something to consider,” he said.
Barnes noted the department realized some recent salary savings they could be used toward the two raises.
However, there was no effort to make a motion to approve or disapprove the request and it was decided to table the issue until the next meeting, Dec. 7.
The council suffered some sticker shock when considering a bid received for lining of drain pipes at city hall.
The city received a bid of $17,700 from Keck Plumbing, Inc., of Quincy, Ill. for work to line the drain pipes in an effort to alleviate some leak issues.
It was agreed the amount seemed high and that, even with if the work is done, there was no guarantee it would stop the leaks.
Council Member Earl Meyers said some work was done recently on the city hall roof, but that a lack of rain was preventing any knowledge of whether the work may have solved the problem.
It was decided to have the Board of Public Works put some water on the roof next week to see if the patching was working.
If not, the council also discussed seeking a contractor’s estimate to replace the drain pipes if they were the problem.
Fahy said he had gone over suggestions for amending the city’s employee hiring procedure, and the would be incorporated into a proposal for council consideration at a later date.
The council briefly discussed a proposed new land use permit to allow Charles Bross and Greg Bross to raise hay on two pieces of city property on the east side of U.S 61.
Action on the permit was tabled until the next meeting to allow council members to consider the proposal.