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County to consider bonds to pay pension obligations

May 20, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL

Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors will consider Tuesday issuing $31.2 million inbonds to pay county employee pension obligations.

The county pays into a pension investment plan but factors such as changes in benefit packages, inflation, employee lifespan and length of career can have a negative impact on the plan.

In 1999, the county had $19 million in liability but that amount has increased partly because of an Internal Revenue Service rule on how health

benefits are paid, Assistant County Executive Officer Robertta Burns said.

Supervisor Gary Wyatt noted the county issued $35 million in bonds in 1997 and already has another $31.2 million in liability.

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Similar pension bonds were issued by other California counties in the last several years such as $117 million by Fresno, $107 million by Contra Costa and $63 million by Merced.

The board also will discuss election and voting issues resulting in complaints raised after the March 5 primary election. The board will consider conducting public hearings May 28, 29 and 30.

The board is also scheduled to approve:

· $126.918. for pesticide regulation enforcement and $20,492 for pesticide application reporting;

· spend $31,651 for detection services for the glassy-winged sharpshooter, a pest that caused millions of dollars in damage to the wine grape crop but has only a limited infestation in northern parts of the county;

· approve $10,000 for representation on a lawsuit the county has concerning the North Baja Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that will fuel power plants in Mexicali;

· discuss and possibly make a land exchange between the county and the Heber Public Utility District;

· award a contract to clean county vehicles at El Centro Car Wash.

The supervisors meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board chambers on the second floor of the County Administration Center, 940 W. Main St., El Centro. Meeting agendas are available online at: www.imperialcounty.net

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or lauramitchell9@yahoo.com

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