Cost of city employees’ insurance questioned
To the editor:
Monday at 6 p.m. is an important date. It is the time established for the Peabody city budget hearing. This is the opportunity for citizens to examine, question, or protest the 2013 proposed budget for the City of Peabody.
Did you know Peabody levies 74 mills of property tax. Marion levies 64 mills; Hillsboro, 40 mills; and Goessel, 56 mills.
Peabody has eight full-time employees. Their base pay, before deductions, ranges from $29,244 to $51,000. Their total pay, before deductions, ranges from $32,939 to $55,680.
The City of Peabody provides a very generous health insurance plan, with $300 deductible for an individual and $600 deductible for a family.
Peabody pays $604 per month, per individual, to provide health coverage, and pays an additional $455 per month toward family coverage for each employee taking that option. In comparison, Marion County and USD 398 provide only the individual coverage amount or less. That amount can be applied toward either an individual plan or a family plan.
This health insurance plan costs the city and you $65,348 per year — $43,508 for individual coverage plus $21,840 extra for family coverage. Providing this level of health insurance costs 1.3 mills in property tax and 3.4 percent of your water and sewer bills together.
I urge you to get a copy of the proposed budget from city hall. Study it and see what your property tax and water and sewer payments go for. Find your voice and show up at city hall, ask questions, and have some input.
Don’t just grouse and gripe over coffee after the fact.
Leroy A. Wetta