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Antrim Township budget approved

Employees will not get cost-of-living increases

Employees will not get cost-of-living increases

December 29, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, PA. -- The Antrim Township Board of Supervisors approved its 2010 budget Tuesday, opting to not collect real estate taxes for a second year, but employees will not get cost-of-living increases.

Not awarding cost-of-living increases to employees was a decision reached Tuesday morning by the board after learning the federal government had determined there would be no increase in living costs due to the economic downturn, board Chairman Curtis Myers said.

Antrim Township's preliminary budget indicated a deficit of about $44,500.

Not having a pay increase for cost of living will not alter the payroll line items in the budget, which are the bulk of the expenditures, but it will allow the township more room to award merit increases to deserving employees, township Administrator Brad Graham said.

Myers said he hopes to soon implement a system in which employees are awarded for their hard work, good ideas and efforts to conserve spending.

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"My 20 percent? I'd like to see the bonus tied to the township's saving," he said. Myers suggested perhaps offering employees a percentage of the money saved.

At its last full meeting in December, the board agreed to increase payroll in the 2010 budget to award merit increases and potentially hire another full-time person on the road crew, Graham said.

Increasing payroll pushed the budget into the red, forcing the township to borrow from the general fund balance to make ends meet.

While employees will not get a guaranteed pay raise in 2010, the township will not require employees to contribute to health insurance premiums.

Supervisor Fred Young said the township does not require employee contribution to benefits premiums. The township pays the entire premium, he said.

The board debated requiring insured, full-time employees to contribute to the plan because premiums will increase by about 8 percent in 2010, but Young and Myers both said the board was against such a move because it liked offering the "Rolls Royce" of benefit packages.

It costs the township about $18,000 per full-time employee for insurance, Myers said.

Those who choose to not participate in the plan are offered a pay incentive, Young said.

Also in the 2010 budget is money to renovate the building on Antrim Church Road, continued work at Antrim Township Community Park and almost $1 million for road improvements.

The board began working on the budget in October and held multiple work sessions to hammer out its 2010 spending.

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