Garden City approves one-time bonus, meets township deputy

The Garden City Town Council met for its November meeting Monday evening. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

GARDEN CITY, Ala. – The Garden City Town Council at its meeting Monday night approved a one-time $150 bonus for Town employees. It was also visited by Philip Widner, candidate for Cullman County Commission chairman, and new township deputy, Sgt. Jeff Rainwater.

Councilman Scott Arnold urged Widner to come back if elected, saying, “We only see the commission when it’s election time. Once folks get elected, they forget about us.”

Mayor Tim Eskew introduced Rainwater. The council thanked Rainwater for the service he’s provided so far.

The council also discussed the Alabama Retired State Employees’ Association (ARSEA) wanting to convert local government Tier II employees to Tier I employees, but tabled the discussion in order for Town Clerk Shannon James to receive more information from ARSEA.

The council also tabled a discussion on a plan Garden City Volunteer Fire Department Chief James Johnson brought forward, a new Alabama League of Municipalities endorsed program, the Alabama First Responders Benefits Program. The program was created for counties and cities within the state of Alabama. It is insurance that covers cancers based on legislation, including bladder, blood, brain, breast, cervical, esophageal, intestinal, kidney, lymphatic, lung, prostate, rectum, respiratory tract, skin, testicular and thyroid cancer. It will also cover leukemia, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are two plans: the Basic Plan, which covers Long Term Disability (LTD) and the 21 cancers required by law, or the Enhanced Plan, which covers LTD and all known cancers. If the Town chooses option one, it would cost $1,155.84; option two would cost $1,249.92.

Eskew said of the program, “I feel like it’s something we need to do.”

Johnson noted that the Cullman County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments will discuss the program its next meeting. The council expressed interest in the plan, but no action was taken.

The Garden City Town Council meets the third Monday of each month. The next meeting will be Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at Garden City Town Hall.

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Maggie Darnell