Several year-end budget items were recommended by the Barry County Commission’s committee of the whole Tuesday.
Among them was a Municipal Employees Retirement System request to increase the required employee contributions to Barry County Courthouse Employees Association employees with defined benefit retirement programs.The rate will go up 1.5 percent from 5.99 percent to 7.49 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2019. In the recent MERS evaluation report, the employee’s blended rate went over the collective bargaining agreement of 22 percent.
That calls for the increase in the employee’s contribution to make up the difference, or a reduction in the employer’s percentage to 22. The courthouse employees association agreed to the increase.
Other recommendations included approving the last budget amendment of the year to the general fund, showing various revenues going up and expenses going down. With the adjustments, the general fund is balanced at $16,718.231 for income and outgo.
Also, they agreed to authorize auditors to make final year end appropriations from the general fund to the Friend of the Court, Drug Court and Child Care funds to determine the amount necessary to make sure the balances stay the same.
And, to transfer surplus general funds to internal funds; 50 percent to Building Rehabilitation, 25 percent to Data Processing and 25 percent to the Vehicle Replacement Fund.
An agreement with VARIPRO to administer the county’s self-funded short term disability claims at the same cost as last year of $2.25 per month, per employee, was recommended.
More recommendations were to:
*reappoint Rick Moore and appoint Deana Powell to three-year terms on the Charlton Park Board to citizen’s at large positions. Sharon Zebrowski, who reapplied for another term, and newcomers Ben Eastman and Mark Jankovic also applied.
*reappoint members Frank Jesensek and Douglas Klein to the Parks & Recreation Board for three- year terms in citizen at large positions. Mark Jankovic and Robert Ritchie also applied.
*transfer the release of right of way for four parcels in Hope Township from the Barry County Board of Supervisors to the county Drain Commission. Drain commissioner Jim Dull said no one knows why, when the easement was recorded it was put in the Board of Supervisor’s name (as the county commission was then named). It should have gone to the drain commission to allow maintenance of the drain and the property the easement covers, he said.