News Column

Cave City Convention Center mulls retire benefits for employees

August 12, 2014

By Gina Kinslow, Glasgow Daily Times, Ky.

Aug. 12--CAVE CITY -- Cave City Convention Center employees could receive retirement benefits if the Cave City Convention Center and Tourism Commission makes a plan available to them.

Tara Edwards with Edward Jones told commissioners Monday about potentially offering convention center employees the opportunity to participate in a 457 retirement plan, which is specifically for government agencies, but operates similarly to a 401(k) retirement plan.

"It is a way for them to make pretax deferrals into a retirement plan," Edwards said.

Commissioners took no action following the discussion.

The commission's cost to make it available to employees would be $100, which is a one-time setup fee.

The employee determines how much to contribute, and the board of directors determines whether to subsidize employee contributions, she said.

There is no minimum amount for employees to devote to their retirement plan.

"You can put in a dollar amount. You can put a percentage amount," Edwards said. "Most of the time an employee wants to do 5 percent, or whatever their goal is."

The maximum amount an employee can contribute per year is $17,500.

Commissioner Patrick McKenzie spoke in favor of the idea.

"It's also impossible, a lot of times, for people to put money back," he said. "This gives them an option to where they won't miss it. That way if they last 10 to 15 years they will have a good little (amount) to go away with."

Commissioner Greg Davis asked Sharon Tabor, executive director of the convention center, to research whether convention center employees qualify for the county retirement system.

Tabor agreed to do it, but pointed out she had polled other convention and visitor bureaus across the state about retirement plans. Whether those agencies' employees participated in county retirement plans depended on how they are paid, she said.

"If they are paid by the city or the county, they participate," Tabor said. "If they are paid out of tourism funds, they have their own (retirement plan.)"

Convention center employees are paid through tourism funds, Cave City Mayor Dwayne Hatcher said later Monday.

Commissioners also:

--awarded a contract to Diane's Cakes and Catering for exclusive catering service after listening to Freda Smith with Reach Out for Kosair Kids, a fundraiser for Kosair Charities, talk about problems she had earlier this month preparing hot dogs on time during the fundraiser;

--awarded a bid to Gilbert and Gilbert, certified public accountants of Glasgow, for auditing services for $5,750 per year for a period of five years;

--discussed the handling of an upcoming free event for the Kentucky League of Cities that was not originally on the convention center's calender because it was scheduled by someone who is no longer employed at the convention center.

They also discussed the progress of new digital signs that will be placed along Ky. 90 west and in front of the convention center, as well as the lack of by-laws. Commissioners agreed to have Tabor present them with a list of questions about issues that concern her.


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Source: Glasgow Daily Times (KY)

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