Tuscola County Road Commission’s millions in underfunded benefits a ‘major’ concern

The Tuscola County Road Commission at a recent meeting. (Photo by John Cook)
The Tuscola County Road Commission at a recent meeting. (Photo by John Cook)

Years of increasing pension and health care liabilities on the part of the Tuscola County Road Commission have the organization facing a shortfall of millions in promised benefits – and officials worried about how it could impact the county.

Mike Hoagland, controller, Tuscola County, sent an email on Nov. 10 to Mike Tuckey, director of finance, Tuscola County Road Commission, expressing concern on the part of county commissioners and offering possible solutions to the problem.

According to its 2015 financial audit, the road commission has about $2.7 million in underfunded pension liabilities between two pension plans. Projected shortfalls in promised health insurance coverage are even worse.

Though the road commission operates as its own entity, Tuscola County Board of Commissioners Chairman Thom Bardwell told The Advertiser that it could eventually become a countywide problem unless steps are taken to reduce costs.

“The flags have been there for a few years,” Bardwell told The Advertiser, calling concern over the problem “major.” (Read more)

(This story originally appeared in the Nov. 26, 2016 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read online in its entirety here.)

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