FULTON, Ill. — Three options will be presented Monday to settle a nearly $20,000 deficit in the city of Fulton’s fiscal year 2015 budget, one of which could have city employees paying a portion of their health insurance.
During a budget work session this week, City Administrator Ed Cannon presented the Fulton City Council with the projected 2015 fiscal year budget including a $19,879 short fall.
One preliminary option to decrease that deficit presented to the council was an employee contribution to city-based healthcare. The contribution would require employees to pay a $15 per pay-period contribution as well as a $15 increase for spousal contribution per pay-period.
“If we implement that $15 that generates an additional $11,000,” Boonstra said. “So, basically we’re down to about $8,000.”
While the council supported the idea of implementing the contribution, Public Works Director Dan Clark spoke on behalf of the city employees who felt asking for a contribution wasn’t fair.
He added that as a member of the healthcare committee, he and the group were able to save the city money on their premiums so asking for the employees to pay more didn’t make sense.
“In a year where there’s no cost increase and we have $60,000 in reserves, I don’t think it’s fair to pay more for our premiums,” Clark said.
Not only did he show concern for the health insurance increase, but he also expressed his issues with a 3 percent salary increase for the police department but only a 2 percent increase for other city employees.
The 3 percent increase for the police department comes from the Fraternal Order of Police which does not issue healthcare costs to officers and instead leaves that responsibility to the city.
Because of that, Mayor Larry Russell felt the city’s 2 percent salary increase to employees was a fair offer and their healthcare contribution was a reasonable request.