Bloomington’s city council kicked off 2013 budget hearings Monday night with news the city has found more than $1.2 million in savings to help offset rising health care costs. Director of Human Resources Daniel Grundmann says the first change to the healthcare plan came during 2011 because of an increase in claims the prior year.
“From 2008 to 2010 we realized about a 41 percent increase in expenses and those were going to continue,” Grundmann says. “Our reinsurance rates were going to be increasing significantly.”
The city will get the money from the salaries and benefits of 29 employees who took advantage of an early retirement program. Thirteen of those positions will not be re-filled. Deputy Mayor Maria Heslin says the city is still working on how to balance the work previously done by the vacant positions.
“How will that impact day-to-day service provision, the day to day duties of other employees and we’re just starting to work on that as a team and really look at that holistically vs. department by department,” she says.
Heslin says her office is down one employee and certain projects have been challenging. The city’s “Innovation Program” also includes direction for departments to become more sustainable by decreasing fuel costs and using less paper.