Northampton Press

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Pension is plan adopted

Thursday, November 15, 2012 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Northampton Borough Council at last month's meeting voted in favor of the pension plan covering nonuniformed employees during fiscal year 2013 that does not require any member contributions. Six council members voted to certify the pension plan. Councilman Edward Pany cast the sole dissenting vote.

Borough Manager Gene Zarayko, on an annual basis, is required to certify the requirement for the nonuniformed pension plan for the following year.

"The nonuniformed pension plan has a minimum obligation of $184,812: $71,300 will be through state aid and the other $113,512 is paid by the borough. Our nonuniformed pension plan does not require any member contribution," Zarayko reported.

Pany noted the City of Allentown and the plight involving its pension plans has caused the city to explore selling off a prized water works in order to help subsidize the huge pension payments it is required to pay out yearly.

The issue resulted from a previous administration's action which made it lucrative for police and firefighters to retire earlier than expected. A liberal plan was adopted allowing for the massive numbers of police and fire personnel to retire.

Agreeing the borough was not Allentown, Pany said he did not want the borough to take such a position. Councilman Robert McHale said the borough does not come close to the numbers Allentown has. Pany responded the borough is also much smaller than the city.

Council in another action verified the 2013 police pension plan. The obligation by the borough next year for the police pension fund is $147,097.

"The borough will receive funding in the amount of $68,200. The borough's contribution will be $16,526 and police member contributions will remain at the 8-percent rate and will equal $62,371," Zarayko said.

Permission was granted to borough lawmakers to allow Assistant Fire Chief Christopher Greb to attend a five-program training session in October and November. The cost is $1,045 and the borough has $1,000 in the fire department's training budget.

Fire Chief Robert Solderich explained the fire department does pay for training of its personnel on a regular basis, but this borough's case was different. The fire chief said such training should pay dividends to the borough in future grant funding for the fire department.