Edgecombe offers early retirement to save cash

By Darla Slipke

Staff Writer

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TARBORO – Edgecombe County commissioners voted this week to approve an early retirement incentive program for qualifying county employees in an effort to save the county money.

The program is voluntary, County Manager Lorenzo Carmon said, and it will be implemented on an as-needed basis.

Full-time employees who are 50 years or older and who qualify for the N.C. Local Government Employee Retirement System for full retirement or early retirement are eligible to participate, according to a memo from Carmon. Qualifying employees must apply by Aug. 1 with an effective retirement date of Oct. 1.

Incentives to participate in the program include a lump sum payment of $8,000 for participants with 20 to 24 years of service and $10,000 for participants with 25 or more years of service. Other incentives include a payout of accrued annual leave up to 240 hours, a full year’s payment of longevity and payment of health insurance premiums until age 65 or until the participant is covered by Medicare or another qualified provider.

Carmon said 50 county staff members are eligible to participate in the program.

He said implementing the program will help the county achieve budget reductions needed for the current fiscal year.

Carmon estimated the county could save close to $1 million if it eliminates 34 jobs through the process.

In other business, county commissioners:

  • Voted 4-3 to reinstate the Edgecombe County Summer Recreation Program after representatives from the program appealed to the board.
  • Accepted a $1.5 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to provide gap funding for construction of the Biotech and Medical Simulation Lab on Edgecombe Community College’s Rocky Mount campus.
  • Increased the health department’s fee for rabies vaccinations to $300.
  • Met in closed session to discuss economic development. The board did not take any action after the closed session.