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Cookeville Working On Retirement Benefits For Shelter Employees

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Working On Retirement Benefits For Shelter Employees

The Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter anticipates city retirement benefits for its employees will not happen by the beginning of the new budget year.

Questions arose at the latest Animal Control Board meeting on whether the shelter falls under the county or city. Director Jennifer Hutchinson-Tracey said the situation will likely not be resolved soon.

“For the people that have been employed here many years, how does that work?” Hutchinson-Tracey said. “Do we just, okay bam, now you’re in the retirement program or do we have to grandfather people in and pay back pay or pay what should have been paid into the retire system all along. So those are the things that are having to get worked out.”

Hutchinson-Tracey said Cookeville Finance Director Brenda Imel is leading those conversations. Hutchinson-Tracey said they are working with state agencies to find out what the city can or cannot be do.

“It’s very unusual,” Hutchinson-Tracey said. “I worked at several different shelters. I’ve never encountered any kind of structure like this. Other people I talk to all comment on how odd a structure it is.”

Hutchinson-Tracey said even though the shelter is owned by the city and workers have city health insurance, they are not full city employees. The situation spawned in 2000 when the Humane Society could no longer operate the shelter and an intergovernmental Animal Control Board took over.

“It’s not really broke per say, but I think it could be better for everybody if we just kind of figured one way or another how we are going to structure this,” Hutchinson-Tracey said.

However, the formation and by-laws were poorly documented leaving questions of the make up to this day, Hutchinson-Tracey said.


The post Cookeville Working On Retirement Benefits For Shelter Employees appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.