by Alan McArthur
The city of Parkville began discussions about joining the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS) during a special meeting Tuesday.
The program provides a payment system for smaller government employees after they retire and would replace the city's contribution to some employee 401(k) programs.
Currently, employees decide whether or not to participate in the 401(k) program, but the LAGERS program is mandatory for all employees.
The city has several payment options, including whether city employees contribute four percent of their salary, or the city pays the four percent. The city may also choose the level of payment for the retirement system to retirees.
In order to qualify for the program employees must continue to work for the city for five years.
During the special meeting, Shannon Thompson, city administrator, said the city staff was recommending starting at the lowest level for benefits.
Before the city can choose to participate in the program, the documents must be available to the public for 45 days before the board can approve the new system.
Jeff Kempker, LAGERS public relations specialist, explained the history of the system and the benefits.
Kempker also provided documents showing what Parkville's payments would be to the system.
At the lowest level recommended by staff, the city would pay 3.75 percent of every general employee's salary. The city could also elect to include the police department and would have to pay 3.9 percent of police department salaries.
On top of this amount, employees would be required to pay four percent of their salary into the system.
Thompson said the documents would be available for the public in city hall.
The city also approved an application by the Main Street Parkville Association to have a beer garden during the July 4 festival.
The group is planning to hold a beer garden on the ball field during the festival as a fundraiser. There will still be a parade, carnival, fireworks, and sky divers.
The board approved the application with a vote of 8-0.
The board also heard a report from Dan Koch, public works director, about the Brink-Myers retaining wall which collapsed.
Koch said he is expecting the city will receive a report later this week about the collapse.
Gerry Richardson, mayor, said the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is interested in reopening the roadway to use as a detour for projects along 45 Highway.
Richardson said the city may hold a special meeting after the report in order to decide whether to reopen the road sooner for MoDOT.