City Council tables changes to employee insurance policies until more aldermen are present

Mayor Mike Troup

Mayor Mike Troup addresses the media after Monday's Quincy City Council meeting. | David Adam

QUINCY — Changes to the health and dental insurance policies for city employees must wait until next week.

Aldermen waited until after an executive session meeting to public address three resolutions on the agenda for Monday’s Quincy City Council meeting. They approved a motion to combine the three resolutions into one.

Aldermen then approved a motion by Tony Sassen, R-4, to wait until the Jan. 18 meeting to vote on the combined resolution. Four of the 14 aldermen — Eric Entrup, R-1, Parker Freiburg, R-3, Mike Farha, R-4, and Mike Rein, R-5 — were absent from Monday’s meeting.

The resolutions called for:

  • Adding the Quincy Medical Group Employee Clinic to be included in the city’s health reimbursement (HRA); 
  • Transferring the transfer from the Blue Cross Blue Shield dental plan to a Metlife dental plan.
  • Transferring from a single Blue Cross Blue Shield plan to a primary and secondary HRA benefit plan.

“We’ve maintained the health policy for the employees,” Mayor Mike Troup said. “We have the QMG employee clinic that we’re maintaining. We’ve changed the plans so the cost of insurance is less to the city. The net benefits to the employees are not changed from what they had last year. The cost to the employee is no different.”

Troup said the plan includes a $1,000 deductible for each employee, and the out-of-pocket maximum also remains unchanged. He said the city will save $477,000 under the latest proposal.

“The aldermen tabled it tonight to bring it up next week … so there’ll be more (aldermen here). This is a significant issue,” Troup said. 

Aldermen also voted to establish the Small Rental Rehabilitation Program. It will mirror the Downtown Rental Rehabilitation program already in place. It offers assistance to developers who convert vacant upper floors of downtown buildings into apartments. The program offers a 50 percent match, up to $20,000, to turn vacant homes into rental units.

The money must be used for the labor and materials of the project and cannot go directly to the developer, who must also keep possession of the property for five years after completion or the city has to be repaid.

The city has a fund of $1 million fund — $250,000 a year — available during the next four years.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said 2020 housing data shows 14.3 percent of the roughly 9,700 housing units west of 18th Street are vacant. 

“The amount we’re offering is significant enough to encourage someone who looks at a property and thinks (rehabilitation is) doable, but there’s a gap in the financing,” Bevelheimer said. “This (fund) should cover that gap. So we expect, hopefully down the road, to see fewer fix or flattens if this program can have an impact on those neighborhoods.”

“That’s awesome,” Troup said. “(The people of Quincy are) going to get better housing.”

Aldermen also:

  • Adopted an ordinance amending the traffic code that allows for right turns only for all southbound traffic at the intersection of Seventh and Broadway, as well as an ordinance preventing parking on the west and east sides of Seventh Street from Broadway extending north to alley entrances; 
  • Gave permission to hang a Right to Life of Adams County banner across Fifth and Maine in conjunction with National Right to Life Week from Jan. 18-24; 
  • Appropriated $1,010,000 in motor fuel tax money for asphalt resurfacing projects in the city,  and $491,000 in motor fuel tax money to buy concrete, asphalt patching, road salt and other items for the maintenance of roads throughout the city;
  • Paid Klingner and Associates of Quincy $17,057.17 for inspections and construction material testing; 
  • Paid Hydro-Kinetics Corporation out of St. Louis $11,695.15 for tank drainage system pumps at the wastewater treatment plant.

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