Many Piedmont city employees will receive improved retirement benefits thanks to a unanimous vote by the Piedmont City Council on Tuesday.
The city council agreed to provide Tier I retirement benefits to Tier II plan members, subject to approval by the Employees’ Retirement System Board of Control. The plan will go into effect in the upcoming fiscal year.
The change means that current Tier II members will be able to receive retirement benefits immediately upon retirement, following the required 25 years of service. Previously, Tier II retirees had to wait until age 62 to receive such benefits, regardless of the age at which they retired.
Officials had been concerned that continuing with the old plan would result in the loss of valued employees to neighboring communities.
“I’m afraid we’re going to lose some really good employees if we don’t go with Tier I,” Mayor Bill Baker said prior to the vote, adding that many “surrounding cities have already made the moved to Tier I.”
The city’s current Tier II members will now contribute 7.5% of their pay to the retirement system, while Tier II members who are firefighters and law enforcement officers will contribute 8.5%.
In other business, the council approved the purchase of a tanker pump from Randall Brackett Fire Truck Repair of Rockmart, Georgia in the amount of $16,000.
Piedmont Fire Chief Mike Ledbetter informed the council at the previous council meeting of the need to repair or replace a broken tanker pump on one of the department’s fire engines. Ledbetter advised the replacement of the 500 gallon per minute pump with a new pump capable of delivering water at 1,000 gallons per minute. The new pump will include a 5-year warranty.
Ledbetter said the new pump would allow the truck to be classified as a “pumper tanker,” which along with other upcoming projects, could lower the city’s ISO rating.
Bills for payment were approved in the amount of $734,857.19.
Abatement measures concerning grass cutting were approved for several properties located along Piedmont Avenue, Vanderbilt Street, Memorial Drive, and North Church Street.
The next regular Piedmont City Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1st, immediately following the work session, which is set for 5:30pm.