The Board of Commissioners in Hollidaysburg were told on Tuesday that the county's financial crisis that has been at least 12 years in the making and now its at the point where something needs to be done because their financial hole is only getting deeper.
The officials calling for changes started their special review of the county's pension problems by spelling out the state rules that require them to provide a defined benefits pension plan for their 800 plus employees.
Based on the current formula for determining benefits, the county should have been setting aside more than two and one half million dollars in pension funding in each of the last 12 years according to the county's financial analyst. Failure to do that is why the county's pension plan is now has an unfunded obligation of some $29 million.
That's why the Blair County officials are going public with their pension concerns. While the county is facing a huge pension deficit, all county employees will still get the benefits promised according to the people in charge of the system.
Commissioner Terry Tomassetti says the county's pension problem would be reduced but not eliminated if the county moves ahead with the current effort to sell its Valley View nursing home. That because the move would reduce the size of the county's work-force and its pension liability by about one third.