October 21, 2014

Au Gres throws support behind pension proposal for veterans

City council notified of disc golf course completion

8/8/13

Au GRES — The Au Gres City Council unanimously approved a resolution to support allowing former servicemen and women working for a municipality additional credit in their 401(k) pensions during its meeting Aug. 6.

City Manager Pat Killingbeck said the resolution will only take effect if the Michigan-based Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) gets enough support from municipalities throughout the state to address the issue at its annual meeting Oct. 1 in Acme. The resolution indicates that Au Gres supports the idea, Killingbeck said.

“They have an annual meeting and it’s voted on,” Killingbeck said. “If that doesn’t happen, it won’t happen locally, either. We’re just saying that we support that it does happen.”

“It’s kind of a rubber-stamp thing,” she added. “In order to get changes made to the bylaws, this is what they have to do. They have to get a certain percent of their membership to say that they are in favor of having this change made.”

Under the resolution, a municipal employee would need to have invested in their pension with their city, county or other municipality for 10 years before being eligible to receive a maximum of six years credit for the time they were in the military. Killingbeck said this would allow those veterans, who have lost investment time while serving in the military, an opportunity to catch up.

Au Gres does not currently employ any military veterans, but Killingbeck said future employees would be able to take advantage of the pension program if MERS approves it.

The council also heard an update on the city’s disc golf course, located off of Industrial Parkway near Court Street. Killingbeck said the course now has gotten its 18 holes completed, with the nets set up.

She said she would like to see a grand opening done for the course soon, adding that it is already seeing around five carloads of people a day using it.

“It’s a neat thing to play for younger kids that probably wouldn’t do a regular golf course,” Killingbeck said. “It’s going to be a great thing.”

She said Ron Peludat and a few others had worked for hours to get the course back in good shape for public use. It originally opened in the 1990s, but a redesign of the course started earlier this year.

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