Village Employees to Pay More for Health Insurance

Board says retirees must contribute

By Michael Turton

The Cold Spring Village Board on May 30 passed a resolution to have village employees, retirees and surviving spouses contribute 12 percent of the cost of their health insurance. Employees had been paying 7 percent, but retirees were not required to contribute.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, noted that the cost of health insurance has risen 25 to 50 percent over the past eight years, an amount that “can no longer be sustained,” said Mayor Dave Merandy.

He noted that for a recently retired employee in his or her mid-50s, the village would have had to pay $23,000 or more annually for insurance until the person reached full retirement age. The amended policy requires retirees to make the same contribution as employees, which will be adjusted when they become eligible for Medicare.

The benefit package also was amended to include changes to employee leave, overtime and retirement medical option plan benefits, and to combine vacation days and sick days into “paid time-off days.”

In other business…

  • A proposal to increase the salaries of village employees by 2 percent was put aside for more research.
  • Trustees approved a salary of $25 per hour plus benefits for newly appointed Village Clerk and Treasurer Jeff Vidakovich, who succeeds Mary Saari, who retired on May 31. Vidakovich will also receive an annual stipend, yet to be determined, for duties required as part of the merger of the village and Town of Philipstown building departments.
  • The board approved the sale off a village-owned stoop at 66 Main St., at the rate of $4 per square foot.
  • Trustees approved the purchase of a $10,315 “zero-turn” riding mower.
  • Zachary Langer was hired as a full-time laborer with the Highway Department for $15 per hour plus benefits. Colin Downey and Max Hadden were hired as summer help in the Highway Department and village office, respectively.

In business on May 23 …

  • The Cold Spring Planning Board will act as lead agency for the state environmental review of a proposed expansion of the Rincon Argentino café at 21 Main St.
  • After complaints from neighbors, the village will plant a vegetative buffer and make exterior alterations to reduce noise from the wastewater treatment plant on Fair Street.