Pelham City Council hears updates from Oct. flood, honors late Fire Battalion Chief

Published 4:24 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM – At the most recent Pelham City Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 18, the Council discussed a variety of different topics ranging from updates regarding the Oct. 6 storm that flooded most of Central Alabama to honoring the late former Fire Battalion Chief Don Green.

Alabama Representatives Arnold Mooney and Kenneth Paschal presented a resolution honoring the passing of former Fire Battalion Chief Don Green to Green’s family. Green served with the Pelham Fire Department for over 27 years. He died from complications due to COVID-19 in September.

“It is with profound sorrow and a sense of immense loss that we note the death of Fire Chief Eldon Earl ‘Don’ Green, Jr. of Pelham, Alabama on September 4, 2021 at the age of 57,” Mooney read from the resolution. “Whereas Chief Green was a true servant leader who displayed the love in his selfless and tireless service to his fellow man over the span of many decades, he valiantly dedicated his life to the wellbeing of his fellow citizens, protecting lives and property without regard to personal peril, and he demonstrated the definition of true heroism. Now therefore be it resolved that the death of Fire Chief Eldon Earl ‘Don’ Green, Jr. is recorded with deep sadness, and this resolution is offered in highest tribute to his life along with heartfelt sympathy to his family.”

Paschal presented the framed resolution to Green’s family, and Mooney noted the resolution was signed by all members of the Delegation from the House and the Senate in Shelby County.

Pelham Fire Chief Mike Reid took the podium to address updates regarding the Oct. 6 flood. Reid said the fire department is still working with EMA, the police department and the public works department to assess damages incurred during the storm. Reid said in the days following the storm, the fire department and EMA were working on information they had available to them as people reported the damages to their property. The following Monday, they received more calls related to the flood, and Reid assured the Council assessments were being conducted to make sure all citizens of Pelham were safe and secure.

Another order of business at the forefront of the meeting was the resolution proposing an annual stipend for full-time city employees who choose to opt out of the city’s health insurance plan. At the previous City Council meeting, Tracy Hill, the senior human resources leader for the city of Pelham, explained the ins and outs of the stipend and how it would benefit the city.

“Employees would be required to satisfy the requirements of other acceptable coverage in order to decline our insurance,” Hill said. “We want to make sure people are covered, and their coverage is acceptable under the Affordable Care Act which means it’s a qualified plan that meets the minimum essential coverage standards.”

“So, if I’m an employee and I’m already covered under other insurance plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act and I’m also participating in the city’s health and dental plan, I would have the option of declining our coverage, and in return I would receive a stipend,” Hill continued.

The annual stipend of $1,200 will be paid at the end of the year to the employee who declined coverage for the entire year.

“Right now, the annual cost in 2022 for single coverage, the premium will be $6,600 per employee. So, for every employee who has credible coverage, and they decline to participate in our coverage, if we pay them $1,200 because we would not have to pay their premium, we would save $5,400 for every employee who makes that choice,” Hill told the Council.

Hill said they anticipate eight to 10 additional employees would be willing to decline city insurance plans, and even with a conservative estimate the city would be saving a considerable amount of funds.

“Even though we think eight to ten will decline coverage, if only five employees decline coverage in addition to the six who have already declined, the total amount of stipend payments to 11 employees would be $13,200 annually, and that would be in lieu of the city paying health premiums which would be $72,732,” she said.

The resolution was passed unanimously.

It was also noted there will be a change in time for the next City Council Meeting. The next Pelham City Council Work Session will take place on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m., and the City Council Meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m.