The El Dorado City Commission heard an update on the proposed retirement program they first looked at during a workshop a couple of weeks ago.


The El Dorado City Commission heard an update on the proposed retirement program they first looked at during a workshop a couple of weeks ago.

The program, which was proposed by the fire department because of the benefits it offers to fire and police, offers earlier retirement and better benefits.

"We polled our employees - both fire and police, and everybody else," said Herb Llewellyn, city manager. "The overwhelming consensus was this was a good thing and they think it is a giant step forward. I did not believe we would have this kind of planned usage on the non-KP&F employees. I think all said they will do something almost all of the employees said they will do the max 3 percent."

The plan was thought to take 6 mills to fund it, but actually it
will take 3 mills from the general fund, with the rest coming from other areas, such as sewer and streets.

"Because it's three instead of six, it changes the dynamic completely," Llewellyn said. 

"What we're recommending is one mill this year, one next and .6 and .6. It's not nearly as big of hit to the general fund.

"If you role it out, you can actually implement it in 2010 for police and fire, and all of your employees could have a one percent contribution.

"Then the following year we would let the employees buy up to 3 percent and then you match," he said.

The commission did not take any action on the item at their meeting July 21, but Llewellyn said the one mill was in the budget and if it was acceptable they would leave it in.

"But we need to put our notice in the paper, and we need some direction on that tonight," he said. "You still won't have done anything, you will have just started going down that road."

The commission gave their support of adding in the one mill.

"It surprised me and I think all the department heads how positively this was viewed by all staff," Llewellyn said. "They said they will think it will make a difference in retention."

In other business, the commission:
• held a public hearing for a Community Development Block Grant for BG Products.

No one from the public commented on the grant, so the South Central Kansas Economic Development District was going to submit the application the next day.

SCKEDD also is working on a development grant for $1 million.

• gave their approval to take the interlocal agreement for Towanda Avenue back to the Butler County Commission, which had said they would like to revisit it again after learning more about it.