Illinois News

Quincy fire, police pension costs rise

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 9, 2018 9:05 pm

QUINCY -- Pension costs for police and firefighters continue to climb.

The Quincy City Council on Tuesday night received actuarial figures that showed the city should pay $535,000 more than last year in total contributions to the two funds.

Comptroller Sheri Ray said Illinois requires that cities contribute no less than is recommended by either the state actuarial or private actuarial firms. Contributions are calculated based on the amount in pension accounts, the number of workers in line for pensions, their ages, likely lifespans, likely returns on investments and payout rates.

"The city's private firm says our fire pensions are 42.2 percent funded ... and police are 46.6 percent funded," Ray said.

The Finance Committee is going to consider pension contributions soon and will make a recommendation to the full City Council.

Alderman Mike Farha, R-4, who is chairman of the Finance Committee, said, "There's no easy source of revenue."

Aldermen also voted to install a direct capture diesel exhaust system in all Quincy fire stations. The cost will be $141,740, with the city's portion set at $12,885.45.

Fire Chief Joe Henning said the exhaust systems should be installed by the end of December or in January.

"This is an Assistance to Firefighters Grant from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the Department of Homeland Security. Communities apply based on population, and we're in a population category that requires that we pay 10 percent of the project and they cover 90 percent," Henning said.

Direct exhaust systems allow for magnetic collars to be placed on the exhaust pipes of fire trucks. They're hooked up to an exhaust line before trucks back into a fire station. When trucks leave on a call, they drive away and the magnetic collars disengage.

"We've got a passive exhaust system now; it's triggered when the door opens. A fan starts running, and it takes 15 minutes to turn over the air in the building," Henning said.

While the passive exhaust system is better than leaving the diesel exhaust inside the buildings, national studies show that people in those buildings have an increased risk of cancer, Henning said.

In other action:

º Alderman Dave Bauer's appointment as chairman of the Aeronautics Committee was confirmed.

º Emergency repairs of $3,491.80 were paid to Brinkman Plumbing Contractors for work at St. Vincent's Home near 10th and Sycamore.

º Fire hydrants, fittings and hot taps for dead-end mains were bought from Core & Main of Washington, Ill., at a cost of $25,256. Items will be used in the Silverthorne Estates subdivision.

º City Clerk Jenny Hayden was presented with her master municipal clerk certification on behalf of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.

º Henning said city residents may call the Quincy Fire Department at 217-228-4459 to request free smoke detectors with 10-year batteries.

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