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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Tension Over $1 Million MERS Payment

Houghton County will make an additional $1 million payment into the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System.

That decision to put the extra funds toward the unfunded liability did not come without disagreement, however.


At their regular meeting Tuesday, Commissioner Scott Ala proposed the county should withhold the payment for the time being, and instead attempt to reopen negotiations with local unions and ask for a greater contribution from employees benefiting from the program.

With the total unfunded liability at around $11 million, Ala was unable to sway the board from making the additional payment.

Ala argued that the money could be used to benefit more of the county if invested into the Houghton County Arena, which is faced with a $500,000 roof project.

The 4-1 vote in favor of supporting the additional MERS payment, with Commissioner Ala opposing it.

Indicating he had another meeting to attend, Ala then excused himself and left.

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