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Perryville commissioners approve new pension plan

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Pension plans of Perryville town employees will be switching from a SIMPLE IRA to the more typical government plans, a 457(b).

The Perryville town commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to adopt the new plan.

The town had been using a SIMPLE IRA for employee pensions; the IRS defines a SIMPLE [Savings Incentive Match PLan for Employees] IRA as a retirement account used by any small entity with fewer than 100 employees.

"SIMPLE IRA plans do not have the start-up and operating costs of a conventional retirement plan," according to the IRS' website.

The commissioners voted Tuesday to terminate the SIMPLE IRA and adopt a 457(b) plan typically used by state and local governments. The plans allow employees to "defer income taxation on retirement savings into future years," according to the IRS.

Commissioner Michelle Linkey made a motion for the commissioners to approve a 457(b) plan with options, including a minimum age requirement of 21 and a requirement of at least one year of service with the town.

The plan comes with an employer contribution of the first 3 percent of an employees' salary.

The commissioners debated increasing the contribution to 5 percent, and Commissioner Raymond Ryan voted against the adoption based on that 5 percent figure.

"I voted no for one reason only," Ryan stated in an e-mail Wednesday to explain his "no" vote. "I believe the matching contributions should have been 5% not 3%. I truly agree with the rest of the pension options."

Megan Breneman, a financial consultant with M&T Securities who worked with the town on developing the new pension plan, noted during the meeting that town officials had the option of changing their contribution amounts.

Budget amendment approved

The commissioners voted 4-1 for a budget amendment adding $97,292 to the town's budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

The amendment included $67,000 in Local Impact Spending left over from the FY2013 budget, $16,792 to design the town's new police station, $5,000 to purchase picnic tables for Ice House Park, $1,000 for "items to be archived" and $7,500 to repair water lines at the town water treatment plant.

The initial budget amendment included $10,000 for park benches, but the commissioners cut the allocation to $5,000.

They debated the park bench purchase, noting benches in parks around town have been damaged and stolen over the years.

Commissioner Barbara Brown cast the lone dissenting vote.

Finance Director Rachel Deaner said the Local Impact Spending is a portion of the revenue generated by the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, allocated to the town through the state and Cecil County.

She said nonprofit organizations in town can apply for a portion of those funds.

Aiken Avenue Extended turns

The commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of a request from Charles Burkins of Perryville to build a second entrance to his business at Route 222 (Perryville Road) and Route 40 (Pulaski Highway).

The property at 5439 Pulaski Highway was previously home to Colonial Honda/Suzuki, and Burkins wants to open a carpet and vinyl business, which would include a showroom, warehouse and an auto repair business.

Planning and Zoning Director Mary Ann Skilling said Burkins would lease the garage on the property for auto repairs.

Burkins also owns Frontier Carpet of Perryville.

There is an existing entrance to the business from Route 222, and Burkins wanted to build a second entrance from Aiken Avenue Extended, which borders the eastern side of the residential area directly north of the shop.

Burkins' proposal was approved with the conditions that the engineering for the entrance is approved, along with a review by town officials of a Traffic Impact Study and State Highway Administration comments on projects on nearby Franklin Street, which intersects Aiken Avenue Extended, according to Skilling.

Skilling stated in an e-mail Wednesday that Planning and Zoning officials and the town engineer would review the engineering work and traffic studies.

Linkey voted against the request, citing concerns with traffic in the area; she said she felt the matter required more study.

"I just didn't feel comfortable saying yes to it," she explained.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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