Minturn may change some benefits for new employees |

Minturn may change some benefits for new employees

Dustin Racioppi
Minturn, CO Colorado

MINTURN, Colorado “-Future employees may still get the same benefits Minturn, Colorado has been handing out for years, but the new workers coming in are going to have to put more “skin in the game”, as some council members called it, to get the perks.

Part of the reason is to save the town money and another is to encourage new employees to save for retirement. The final terms of how the new benefits system will work are still being debated by the council, though it did agree Wednesday night to, from now on, require a four-year vesting period for new workers. The employee would be vested in the town’s contribution by 25 percent each year.

After much deliberation, the council decided to reduce its normal 8 percent contribution toward employee retirement to 6 percent. Employees would also have to put in 2 percent in order to get any contribution from the town. Currently, the town doesn’t require employee contributions.

“I want them to be in the game,” Mayor Pro Tem George Brodin said. “This is a long-range benefit. Your retirement can grow at the same rate as it has been, which is a huge rate in my opinion.”

Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty feels that making those requirements is unfair to the new employees. He said if the town wants to save money or cut costs, the council should look at the entire budget before digging into employees’ benefits. He suggested implementing a hiring freeze, looking at suspending capital projects and reducing the council’s pay “-which most of the council actually embraced.

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“We’re one month into the budget and it seems like we’re hitting the panic button,” Flaherty said.

It will take a lot more than cutting the $25,000 stipend to bring down costs, though. Council member Jerry Bumgarner said he’d like to see a dollar-for-dollar match by employees for retirement.

“I don’t see how we can afford to spend all this money. I still think we’re going the wrong way,” Bumgarner said. “If you want to talk about trimming things, you’ve got to look at the big ball.”

The council isn’t sure if changing the benefits package will happen soon or wait for the next budget season to be discussed.

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or

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