Waterloo police pension fund on the rise

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The Waterloo City Council learned at its Nov. 2 meeting that more tax money may need to be levied to fund police pensions going forward.

During a presentation of the annual police pension report by Keith Brinkmann, an actuarial study for the city’s police pension fund indicates a recommended contribution of $652,568 for next year.  

This is determined by an actuary as the estimated amount to pay all pensions and meet annual requirements of the fund as provided in the Illinois pension code.  

“The city has always contributed what the actuary suggested,” Brinkmann told the council.

This recommended contribution is based on many assumptions, such as current pensions being paid out, future expected pensions to be paid out, and current and future investment performance of the fund, city finance director Shawn Kennedy explained.  

Police pensions are funded through Waterloo’s tax levy, which also funds the library and Waterloo Municipal Band. 

The city levied $500,000 for its police pension fund last year.

Kennedy suggested at the council meeting that when preparing the tax levy for the next fiscal year, the total may need to be bumped up to collect more money for the fund.

“With (the The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law), the city is limited as to how much the tax levy can be increased,” Kennedy said. “If more tax levy is appropriated for the above entities, less is available for city corporate operations and road improvements.”

Kennedy said the rising cost of the police pension fund could be due to multiple factors.

“I’m not an actuary, but I would think it’s a combination of the more retirees taking pensions, an increase in the police force, and investment returns,” Kennedy said.

In other news from the Nov. 2 meeting, Matt Holtman was reappointed to the city’s building/property maintenance board of appeals for a three-year term to expire Nov. 1, 2023.

Beautification grant extensions to Darrell Gaitsch at 116 N. Main Street and Dwight Schaeffer at 200 S. Market Street were also approved.

The council also gave the green light for the final plat of Country Club Hills, Phase III.

Waterloo Zoning Administrator Jim Nagel pointed out to the council that through October, there have been 44 single residential building permits issued. There were 39 such permits issued in the city all of last year, Nagel said.

The next meeting of the Waterloo City Council is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16 at City Hall.

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