WEIRTON - City Council will be asked Tuesday to sign off on pay raises for municipal employees, as well as a new health insurance provider.
Weirton's finance committee on Thursday recommended 3 percent pay raises for employees, retroactive to the start of the new fiscal year in July.
City officials previously said they finished the 2011-12 fiscal year with a $2.6 million cash carryover, though all but about $250,000 had been built into the budget projections for the year.
DONATION SUPPORTED — Weirton Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh, left, discussed a proposed contribution to the Brooke-Hancock Veteran’s Memorial Park, while City Finance Director Tom Maher looked over paperwork. The city’s finance committee on Thursday recommended council approve the donation. -- Linda Harris
The first reading of the proposed ordinance will be at council's Tuesday meeting.
The committee also recommended switching to Highmark for health care coverage for city employees.
City Manager Valerie Means said the Highmark plan uses the same provider network as the previous carrier, Carelink.
"We made sure of that before we made the recommendation to change," she said. "And I'm very happy with the price that came in - a little under a 3 percent (increase). They were very competitive.
"It's virtually the same plan," she added.
Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh pointed out the 3 percent rate hike is nominal "considering the year before the increase was around 8 to 12 percent."
The committee also recommended council enter into an agreement for HRA DirectPay coverage, as well as dental insurance benefits for eligible employees.
Means said switching dental carriers will bring "a decrease in cost and a better plan." The cost of the coverage is shared equally by the city and individual employees.
The committee also recommended entering in a contract for annual aerial and ground ladder truck testing and certification for the fire department; contributing to the Brooke-Hancock Veteran's Memorial Park; purchasing a thermal imaging camera for the fire department; contracting for engineering services for the safe routes to school grant program; approving general fund budget revisions; and hiring Teed and Associates of Charleston to handle the 2011-12 audit.
(Harris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)