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City to begin offering early retirement

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The city of Roswell will today begin offering early retirement and voluntary severance packages to employees as it faces an estimated $33 million reduction for the 2021 budget.

In preparing to make that adjustment due to the crash in the oil industry and the COVID-19 pandemic, City Manager Joe Neeb told the Roswell City Council at its meeting Thursday evening staff reductions are a possibility. Temporary staff were laid off at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have a lot of individuals who are near that age and we want to make sure we help them with retirement,” Neeb said.

“We believe this is the right thing to do,” he said.

The voluntary severance packages will be available for the first 30 employees who sign up through June 15 and will offer three months’ pay as severance.

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“We know of 14 right now voluntary separations from the city at this point in time,” Neeb said.

Employees who are fired with cause will not be eligible for the severance package.

Neeb also told councilors the city is preparing to open up more offices to in-person service. The water billing office was reopened earlier this month, and Neeb said that has been successful. Some offices are still undergoing changes to meet health guidelines, such as installing sneeze guards at counters, so will be somewhat delayed.

Neeb did not give a schedule Thursday of which offices and services will be reopening, but did add the city plans to open the Roswell Aquatic Center and splash pads by Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the Murphy Family Splash Pad in Poe Corn Park on South Garden Avenue, the city will construct a second splash pad in Carpenter Park.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

 

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