Salisbury Press

Saturday, June 6, 2020


Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Amendment to police pension plan addresses service-related disabilities

An amendment to the Salisbury Township Police Pension Plan was recently tabled by the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners.

Township commissioners voted 4-0, with one commissioner absent at the Oct. 24 meeting, to table the amendment, which must be considered as an ordinance, pending clarification of language.

Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the motion at the Oct. 10 township meeting, but the motion was brought back for additional consideration.

The pension plan for full-time township police officers is to be amended to conform with the collective bargaining agreement between the township and the Salisbury Township Police Officers Association.

According to township officials, in an audit of the plan, the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General questioned a provision about service-related disability benefits as recently amended.

The plan provides a benefit equal to 75 percent of the final 36-month average monthly compensation. However, Act 600 requires a minimum benefit of 50 percent of monthly salary at the time the disability was incurred.

As explained in the ordinance, although the disability benefit will generally be greater than the minimum required under Act 600, there are potential situations where the benefit won't satisfy the statutory minimum.

The ordinance is intended to ensure that the service-related disability benefit is not less than the statutory minimum.

The township police association has approved the amendment.

Commissioners reviewed a cost estimate of the effect of the changes prepared by the actuarial firm Beyer-Barber.

The proposed amendment basically states that in the event of permanent and total service-related disability, benefits are to be payable to an injured police officer each month in an amount equal to 75 percent of the compensation paid to the officer as a full-time police officer during the last 36 months of service immediately preceding the officer's last day of service, divided by 36 or, if greater, 50 percent of the police officer's monthly salary at the time the disability was incurred.

In other business at the Oct. 24 township meeting, commissioners voted 4-0 to approve:

- A motion to authorize Payment No. 1, of $168,940.57, to Asphalt Paving System, Inc., Hammonton, N.J., for the Double Bituminous Seal Coat Township Streets Project;

- A motion to approve Payment No. 2, of $26,660.06, the final payment, to Livengood Excavators, Inc. for the Lincoln-Flexer Avenue Roadway Project. "The project came in about $19,700 under budget," Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer said; and

- Board of commissioners' meeting dates for November and December: 6 p.m. workshop; 7 p.m. meeting Nov. 7, 21 (because of 2014 budget deliberations and Nov. 28 Thanksgiving Day holiday when the second regular monthly meeting would have been held) and 7 p.m. Dec. 19 (one meeting only because Dec. 26, when the second monthly meeting would have been held, is the day after the Christmas holiday).

In other business at the Oct. 10 township meeting, commissioners voted 5-0 to approve:

- Amendments to the 2013 general fund operating expenditures, as follows:

HRA & retirement incentive payments: $15,900 (original budget), $11,400 (revised budget) for $4,500 savings;

General services cost of tentative police pay increase: $22,000 (original budget), $4,500 (revised budget) for $17,500 savings;

Facilities unanticipated repair and maintenance: $24,800 (original budget), $34,800 (revised budget) for $10,000 over budget;

Consulting services for Urban Research Development Corp. Lindberg Park Master Site Plan: $31,999 (revised budget, which wasn't budgeted);

For a $19,999 increase in operating expenditures;

Capital construction for Administration Building security and roof repair: $30,000 (original budget), $70,000 (revised budget), for $40,000 over budget;

Maumee Avenue Stormwater Project not done in 2013; to be budgeted in 2014: $200,000 (original budget), $160,000 (revised budget), for $40,000 under budget;

Capital Construction camera and lighting at Laubach Park, plus Franko Farm Park house windows and doors: $43,000 (original budget), $23,000 (revised budget) for a $20,000 savings;

For a $20,000 savings in capital expenditures.

- A Well Isolation Distance Waiver for 460 Stoneridge Road, where a septic tank is failing. The well is required to be 100 feet from an existing well. The proposed drain field is approximately 66 feet. The owner requested a 34-foot waiver. Scott Bieber, Township Sewerage Enforcement Officer, recommended the waiver be granted.;

- A motion to authorize Payment No. 1, of $62,569.14, to Paul Weiss Construction, Inc. for security upgrades at the Municipal Building. According to Township Manager Randy Soriano, as of the time of the vote, the ADA-compliant front door entrance was complete, partition to close off access to the rear administrative offices was in place and door locks were replaced. Bullet-proof glass for the door that will be the main entrance to the administrative offices was needed. Work on the finance front counter was to start, as was installation of a drawer. The work was to have been completed in time for the Nov. 5 general municipal election because the building serves as a polling place.;

- Motion to renew Charles Durner's employment and lease agreements. Durner's hourly rate will increase by $1, with the 2014 budget reflecting a rate of $12 per hour. Durner, who is the township stray animal enforcement officer and runs the drop-off center, resides in the Franko Farm Park house. The board commended Durner on his continuing efforts for the township.