The Monticello City Council will allow city employees to opt out of the city-provided health insurance coverage. The policy is an idea to help cut costs to the city.
The new policy pays employees 65 percent of the cost of their insurance should they choose to opt out of the program. However, employees cannot opt out of the city health insurance unless they can provide proof of medical coverage through another entity.
Councilman Tim Young felt that it would be fine to give people the option, but it should be understood that it is only an option and not a recommendation from the city.
Councilman Scott Frost said that if people are already insured through a spouse they should have the choice to opt out of the city plan. City Manager Kelly Pehrson reports that 65 percent of the annual cost is $10,360.
Frost moved to approve the opt out policy at 50 percent instead of 65 percent, but the motion died for lack of a second.
Young moved to approve a 65 percent payout of the cost, provided employees show proof of insurance. The motion passed 3-2 with Young, Frost and Shakespeare voting in favor.
The council discussed the possible wind farm proposed by Wasatch Wind that may be built northwest of Monticello. The council had concerns about the location of the windmills. Some are planned that will be seen from the city and could alter the view. The windmills in question, more than 495 feet tall from the base to the tip of the blade, are even larger than those at the mouth of Spanish Fork canyon.
They discussed objections to four towers that are nearest to the city. The council said that wind power is a viable plan, but there should be some give and take, specifically in the locations that will drastically alter the views in Monticello. The council will express their concerns to the county commission and will invite Wasatch Wind to discuss tower placement.
The council received a report that City Fire Chief Terrill Slade is retiring on August 1.
Slade has been the chief for 23 years. He was on the fire department several years prior to becoming chief. Slade will still be involved in the fire department. The council expressed thanks for Slade’s many years of service and suggested community members thank him as well. The council will go through the process of appointing a new fire chief.
In other business, the council discussed the need for a city code to deal with abandoned homes and trailers. Of concern are several properties around town that are abandoned and pose possible health and safety hazards.
Councilman Scott Shakespeare said the Seventh District Juvenile work crew is doing a great job watering and caring for the flowers on Main and Center streets. Shakespeare praised the hard work and said that contracting with the work crew is a great solution to the watering concerns.