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Benefits policy change prompts 2 deputies to retire

Veterans leave Sheriff’s OfficeBy Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
Two veteran officers with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office have opted to take advantage of the county’s recent decision to allow employees with 30 years service to retire at any age and receive the free health insurance program ó and others may follow.
Major Tim Bost, third in command at the Sheriff’s Office, retired last month. Lt. Reggie L. Bost will officially retire Aug. 28, after 29 years with the Sheriff’s Office.
Chief Deputy Steve Schenk, the second ranking official in the department, also is leaving, as of Aug. 1, but he isn’t eligible for the county’s retiree program. (Story, 1C).The county program provides free health insurance until the former employee qualifies for Medicare.
Ken Deal, county director of administration, said Tuesday that the Bosts are the first employees to take advantage of the six-month window for retirement before age 55.
Deal said some additional employees in the Sheriff’s Office are also considering retiring early and taking advantage of the insurance program.
County commissioners agreed to drop the 55 age requirement through Dec. 30.
In the case of the position of major, the county effectively eliminated the job to save money.
County Manager Gary Page will also review other vacancies in the Sheriff’s Office and decide whether they can be filled.
In his letter to Sheriff George Wilhelm, Lt. Bost, wrote that the amendment to the county insurance plan was the deciding factor in leaving.
Lt. Bost praised Wilhelm and the command staff for lobbying the county to get the change in the insurance program. “I really feel that you guys had my interest in mind while lobbying,” he wrote.
Lt. Bost went on to note that “his greatest fear about retirement was the issue with insurance.”
Lt. Bost whose annual salary is $60,063, will use one year of accumulated sick leave to complete his 30 years.

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