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Bishop City Administrator/ Community Services Director Keith Caldwell

Not just businesses, but also local government will face changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act. One of the provisions calls for mandatory health insurance or payment of penalties in organizations with 50 employees or more. When they meet in a retreat on Friday, the Bishop City Council will discuss this issue.

City Administrator Keith Caldwell said officials continue to work on understanding the new Act. He said it is understood that a threshold of 50 employees triggers the requirement to offer health insurance. Caldwell said the City of Bishop employs 38 workers, but he said the numbers bump up during summer months. The full work force, he said, still remains under 50.

Council members can consider a static workforce or one that might trigger more costs. Caldwell said City services and budget issues are at stake. He said that a lot of paperwork and reporting will be required. Bishop and others will also need to go back into 2012 to report employee numbers and to establish a baseline. Caldwell said, “Our job is to provide services in the most efficient way. We want to get feedback from the Council.” The Affordable Care Act officially starts January 1, 2014.

That item sits at the top of the list for the Council’s retreat which takes place Friday at 9am in the City Hall Executive Conference Room and is open to the public. Officials will also talk about CalPers policy rate changes which will go up after a few years of no increases due to the recession. So, the rate hikes will impact the City budget.

The Retreat agenda also includes a discussion of some local motels that are delinquent in payment of their Transient Occupancy Tax. Caldwell said the money and penalties owed adds up to somewhere between $80,000 and $100,000.

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