North Castle Gives Back After Cuts To Employee Benefits

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Town Supervisory Howard Arden announced a new medicare plan for town employees and retirees that will save money for both parties. Photo Credit: Robert Michelin

ARMONK, N.Y. -- After passing legislation this summer to cut benefits for town employees and retirees, North Castle Town Supervisor Howard Arden announced the town will offer a new Medicare plan that will cut costs for senior citizens in half.

"This is a really nice Christmas gift for the employees in the plan," Arden said. "And there really is no difference in the two plans."

Arden said the Medicare plan will be available for all town employees and retirees who are 65 years or older. With retirees and employees now required to contribute 15 percent of monthly premium costs, the new plan will cut that contribution from around $70 a month to $35. Under the previous plan, it would cost the town around $465 per month for an individual employee plan. The new plan, offered through Aetna will save the town more than $200 per month and cost around $235

Arden said the town has been researching new plans since the Town Board voted in June to cut benefits with a 3-2 majority vote. Arden said the policy would save the town around $17 million in the long run. 

North Castle Comptroller Faith Berland said increases in costs of pension, health care, worker's compensation and advanced life support have contributed to 93 percent of North Castle's tax levy increase for the 2013 budget. Those increases alone would put North Castle above the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy increase. 

Despite cuts, the North Castle preliminary 2013 budget features a 3.79 percent tax levy increase. The town board will hold a public work session on Dec. 10 at Town Hall in Armonk from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

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