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A pair of policies in the city of Seymour's personnel handbook were changed last Thursday by city aldermen at the group's regular meeting.

Both policy changes were approved in unanimous 4-0 votes by the Seymour Board of Aldermen.

The first change involves vacation time.

Before last week's meeting, new employees of the city received no vacation time until after they had worked for the city for a full year.

Now, per the new policy, "The employee will be entitled to forty (40) hours of vacation leave for their first year of employment."

The issue of vacation time was debated by city officials at the group's Jan. 21 meeting, which led to last Thursday's official decision.

The second change involves health insurance.

Currently, the city provides health insurance to all full-time employees at a cost of $20 per month. The cost of the insurance, above the $20, is paid by the city, which can be anywhere from $400 to nearly $2,000 per month, depending on the age and the general health of the employee.

To that end, the aldermen discussed the issue at the aforementioned Jan. 21 meeting and decided to offer a financial incentive to employees who do not take the city's health insurance.

Beginning March 1, the new police reads, "If an employee chooses to not obtain coverage through the city's health-insurance option, the employee shall be reimbursed one-half (1/2) of the city's monthly cost. The amount paid to the employee will be paid in two (2) equal installments per month."

City Administrator Hillary Gintz noted that despite reimbursing the employee half of the cost of health coverage, the city comes out ahead financially.

"Let's say our cost for the health insurance for Employee X is $600 per month, and the employee elects not to accept it," she explained. "We would pay that employee half of the cost, which is $300, but the city saves $600."

Gintz said she didn't envision many employees taking this option.

"Some (employees) do have the option of getting on their spouse's insurance, and this could work for them," she said.

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