LOGAN — The Jan. 12 meeting of the Logan City Council saw the group update the pension plans for future employees, make appointments for the new year, make plans to lower the city’s B&O utility tax and authorize submission of grants.
A quorum of councilmen and women was present for the meeting. Councilwoman Donna Willis, councilmen Ken Lee and Howard Jemerison, city attorney Kendal Partlow and mayor Serafino Nolletti were present. City clerk Amber Miller-Viars attended the meeting via telephone.
In hopes of helping the city to be able to meet future pension payments, the council voted to install a new pension plan for future employees. Fire Chief Scott Beckett explained the pensions of current employees will not be affected. Current employees will be grouped into plan A and future employees will be grouped into plan B.
Recent changes to state laws have reduced the amount of state-level matching to local pension plans.
Beckett added the new plans will be, “less lucrative.” However, in the midst of the economic downturn, the move to the plan B system has reportedly been adopted by 17 municipalities throughout the state.
Nolletti added, “Williamson recently adopted this plan B system as well.”
There was also extended discussion on the adjustment of B&O utility tax rate. The council recently moved to raise the rate from three to 3.6 percent.
However, state code only allows a maximum of three percent rate on the tax. The council moved to immediately comply with state code by voting to change the rate collected.
The resolution that adjusted the tax to the higher rate will have to be amended and go through readings at two meetings.
No businesses were billed at the higher rate.
The council also made appointments for the Fire Department and Police Civil Service Commissions.
The group moved to reappoint each of the members from the bipartisan commissions.
Richard Curtis, George Kostas and Kevin Hutchison were appointed to the Fire Department Civil Service Commission, and Gary Hilton, David Whitman and Nicky Bailey were appointed to the Police Civil Service Commission.
The council also provided Miller-Viars with authorization to submit community participation grants totaling $10,000 for demolition of structures, $20,000 for the City of Logan Police Department and $12,500 for the City of Logan Fire Department.
The council also moved to allow a grant originally for the WV Freedom Festival to be amended to fund the Polar Express.
Polar Express is now a sanctioned WV Fairs and Festivals event.
Other business handled by the council included planning a program of tobacco cessation presentations with Kathy Bailey, of WV Tobacco Prevention, and hearing an update from Tom Esposito on various planned and ongoing projects funded FEMA.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]