Frisco looks for ways to save |

Frisco looks for ways to save

FRISCO – The free ride has ended – Frisco employees are going to have to start pitching in for their health care benefits.

Frisco officials agreed Tuesday they would like to save about $200,000 of the $900,000 they budgeted for employee benefits this year. The amount they chose was on the low end of the saving options Town Manager Alan Briley provided the council – which ranged from $100,000 to $500,000.

Because the town already saved about $160,000 of the budgeted amount by changing insurance carriers, the $200,000 savings means only another $40,000 from the benefit package. Still, this can add up for the town employees, who have seen the town cover 100 percent of their health-care costs for 10 or more years.

Though the final details of what those savings will mean for employees has not yet been determined, it might mean they will soon be required to pay $20 copays for doctor visits and prescriptions and face individual deductibles of $500 each year.

Councilmember Rick Amico suggested the town raise the deductible to $1,000.

As Briley explained to council members, increasing employee participation in health benefits is just the first step he is taking to save money for the town this year.

“If we eliminate $200,000 now, I still have $600,000,” Briley said, adding that he must decrease expenditures as revenues decline.

Other cost-cutting measures could include shifting job duties in departments to eliminate the need to rehire for vacated positions and requiring employees to take a number of unpaid days off each year.

The council budgeted for an $800,000 decrease in revenues this year as they estimated Silverthorne Target’s impact on Frisco’s biggest revenue generator, Wal-Mart. But before Target even opened, Frisco’s revenues were down.

According to Briley, February’s revenues were down 17 percent from last year. January was down 14 percent.

“If what’s happening in January and February progresses, we’re not going to make the $5.1 million (budgeted revenues),” he said, adding that, for now, the town is still on track with its budget.

The town will not receive March revenues until early June, officials said. But, Briley said, “I am afraid.”

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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