New highway workers contract

ELDRED, NY — With negotiations completed, the Highland Town Board last week approved a new contract for the town’s highway workers.

Supervisor Jeff Haas said the budgeted three-year compact provides for increases of 1.54% in the coming year, followed by 2% in 2019 and 2.25% in 2020.

Haas earlier credited the town’s switch in health insurance providers from the New York State Health Insurance to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), provided through the Mike Preis Agency, for saving some $30,000 for the town’s new budget.

Commonly referred to as a health reimbursement account, is an IRS-approved, employer-funded, tax-advantaged employer health benefit plan that reimburses employees for out-of-pocket medical expenses and individual health insurance premiums.

Under the plan, the town pays upfront costs, and receives a refund for unused health services at the end of the term. There is no change in benefits to employees, Haas said.

Separately, the board approved the appointment of David Preston of Yulan to replace code enforcement officer David Kuebler, who resigned in November. Haas said Kuebler will assist Preston as needed as he assumes the position and acquires his state certification. Preston will be paid $25 per hour during a probationary period, increasing to $27. The position does not provide benefits.

Last week’s meeting was the last regular session for Councilman Scott Hallock, who did not seek re-election after eight years on the board. Presented with a letter of appreciation, Hallock credited the panel as a “good board,” and wished them luck, adding, “Remember your roots and don’t lose sight of the big plan.” 

The new board will hold an organizational meeting at the town hall on January 2, 2018 at 7 p.m.


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