Truman eyeing firefighter benefits

TRUMAN – A proposal to increase retirement pay for firefighters has been put on hold by Truman City Council.

Mark Halverson, president of Truman Firemen’s Relief Association, requested a $100 increase per year of service on the fire department. Members become fully vested after 20 years in the department and, upon retirement, receive payment of $800 per year served.

“It’s been several years since it’s been raised. Other [similar] size towns are running $1,075 to $1,250 per year,” Halverson said. “We want to gradually get up toward the $1,200 to $1,250 range.”

Councilman Paul Leimer asked if there will be enough funds available “if all these guys retire” after at least 20 years of service.

Halverson said the current balance would still be “overfunded” if that happened.

“There’s more than enough to cover that amount,” Halverson said of the $900 proposal.

Leimer requested that any decisions be delayed until the full council is present. Council members Jake Ebert and Kirsten Bressler were not at the meeting at that time. Leimer expressed concern that if funds fell short, the city would have to pay the difference, as happened a few years ago.

The council tabled the matter for further consideration and research.

In other business, Bressler’s residency was discussed.

Bressler, who arrived late to the meeting, faced questioned from Leimer about the location of her main residence – whether it is in Truman or at another property outside city limits. Leimer said he had received comments about the matter from Truman residents.

Mayor Lynn Brownlee said she too has been questioned about the matter by residents.

After a brief discussion, Bressler left the meeting prior to adjournment.

In other business, the council:

o Renewed a 25-year franchise agreement with Minnesota Energy Resources.

Rory Lenton from the natural gas company responded to questions concerning “barriers” that protect the gas meters. Normally made of lead, the posts are required by the state to protect meters near corners or close to driveways. They are installed at the gas company’s expense, but homeowners may paint them any color they desire.

o Approved an ordinance banning parking a recreational vehicle, trailer, boat and other crafts on any street, alley or parking lot owned by the city.

Exceptions are made for loading and unloading for the necessary time for that purpose, or for residential construction activities.