The motion to change the IMRF designation from 600 to 1,000 hours
per year came out of the finance committee. "This means that
departments can hire part-time employees to work up to 1,000 hours
in a year before IMRF would need to be paid," finance chair Chuck
The action would affect future county employees, including board
members. Anyone already employed by the county and receiving IMRF
would be grandfathered in.
Board chairman Terry Carlton said that increasing the hours would
provide a cost savings to Logan County and allow department heads to
Board member Dave Hepler was absent last week when this was
brought up. He said that he is opposed to this action. He explained:
"I feel strongly enough that I’d like to see future people run for
this board, get involved and then hopefully run for statewide
offices. I think IMRF participation is necessary. I see this as
Carlton checked on what other counties have done. He said that 60
of 102 Illinois counties have opted for this change. The only
counties that have held off are where county board members are full
Several county administrators have said that this would be a help
to their departments -- Steve Nichols, sheriff; Mark Hilliard,
health department administrator; Sally Litterly, county clerk and
recorder; and Bret Aukamp, highway engineer. Their comments varied,
but all said that the increased hours would allow them better
ability to manage in one way or another, such as to provide more
service through seasonal or special project temporary help, or that
it would bring relief for overworked full-time employees while
allowing flexibility to maintain strained budgets.
While it is the yearly total that
counts for IMRF, the weekly averages would be:
1,000 hours per
year / 52 weeks per year = 19.23 hours per week
600 hours per year / 52 weeks per year
= 11.53 hours per week
Ruben said there is also a one-year window for error if hours
would be guessed at under 1,000 hours but go over some.
Ruben explained that less than 32 hours per week (1,664 hours per
year) is considered part-time work. Usually someone is above 32
hours per week before they are considered for retirement and other
benefits, although the insurance that the county is under considers
employees eligible at 30 hours per week.
This is about either part-time people doing a part-time job who
are planning to move up, or it is college students working for the
summer and such, he said.
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Hepler said that he realized it might make it a little easier for
some departments to manage, "but from what I’ve seen, the private
sector does not seem to have a problem managing part-time employees,
and I would expect our public administrators should be able to do at
least as good of job."
All 12 board members were present. The motion passed with nine
board members voting yes: Rick Aylesworth, Kevin Bateman, Terry
Carlton, Gloria Luster, Bill Martin, Pat O'Neill, Chuck Ruben, Jan
Schumacher and Terry Werth. Three voted no: Bob Farmer, David Hepler
and John Stewart.
Ruben added that he just received notice about his IMRF payments
that will begin in December. "Thirty-five dollars per month," he
stated flatly. There were snickers, and with sarcasm he responded,
"Yeah, McDonald’s tonight, guys!"
The enterprise zone amendment proposes extension to several grain
elevators spread throughout the county. Andy Hamilton of Opportunity
Alliance said seven sites that include four different grain
companies would be added to the zone, and it would involve three
units of government. The grain businesses would see some state
benefits, he said.
Hamilton said that last fall they surveyed grain companies
throughout the county and found four companies that had $6 million
construction expansion plans in the next 24 months.
The board approved the recommendation of the Logan County
Regional Planning Commission with 11 voting yes. Ruben abstained due
to sitting on the Hartsburg Grain Elevator board.