Saturday, June 12, 2021
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Council Approves Actuarial Study To Clean Up Retirement Issues

Cookeville City Council approved an actuarial study Thursday night to try and correct the retirement records of the city and Cookeville Regional.

The state made a mistake in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System during the 1999 medical center split from the city. Hospital employees should have been transferred from the city account to the hospital entity. That did not happen, leaving them on the city’s retirement rolls.

Because the state did not provide data to the city until 2017, no one locally knew of the issue.

“Once they agreed that ‘hey, yea, you’re right, you guys are probably contributing for employees that aren’t yours,’ the process was to have to change the state law and that always takes time,” City Manager James Mills said. “We’re much, much closer to getting this resolved.”

Representative Ryan Williams and Senator Paul Bailey introduced bills this spring to allow the problem to be fixed.

Mills said the last study the city paid for cost in the neighborhood of $7,000. He hopes to have a resolution to the issue by the end of June. At a work session this week, Mills said the city will see its retirement expense amounts decrease significantly because fewer employees will be on its roster.

In other business Thursday, Leisure Services Director Rick Woods said he wanted to rebid the fencing project for the new Cane Creek Dog Park. Security Fence submitted the only bid to install five-foot tall black vinyl coated fencing around the two areas of the park. Woods said the $38,000 bid includes 1,186 linear feet of fencing.

Woods said re received questions in the aftermath of Monday’s work session about the type of fencing as well as whether the fencing could be done at a lower price. He said he wanted to do some more work.

Mayor Ricky Shelton said he hoped it would not take long. Council Member Eric Walker said it would be worth a little more time.

Signage for the new police station will move forward. Council approved signage on the front of the building as well as the west stairwell. Fast Signs will complete the $34,000 project.

Council approved the purchase of $43,000 in new cardboard and roll-off dumpsters. The city will also move ahead with the cleaning of its sewage lagoons.

Council approved the reappointment of Dr. Bob Bell and Bobby Williams for six-year terms on the Industrial Development Board.

A June 3rd public hearing set to consider the extension of the industrial area along West Broad Street to CC Camp Road. Developer Jack Stites asked the city to rezone the six acres to light manufacturing.

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