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PETERSBURG, Va. -- City leaders in Petersburg are looking for ways to save money as they prepare the budget for the next fiscal year.

One way to same more than $1.5 million in the proposed budget is to reduce the city's contribution to their employees health care plans.

However, that savings could cost some workers hundreds of dollars a month and some fear it could cause some employees to look elsewhere for a job.

"Anthem itself, the rates don't appear to have gone up at all," Professional Firefighters Association Local 2773 President Dan Macaluso said.  "It's just the employer contribution has come down significantly."

Petersburg Police.

Petersburg Police.

Petersburg's Chief Financial Officer Michael Roger agrees and said the "proposal is focused on how the city can balance its budget for the next fiscal year."

With health care cost a large portion of the city's budget, a way to cut $1.6 million is by having employees with dual and family plans foot more of the bill.

Roger's says the proposal will be "capping the city's contribution from right at $16,000 to $8,000."

As a result, workers with family plans would pay about $300 more per month.

But a proposal in front of city council, could give some relief to those employee's by cutting that monthly number in half for the first year.

"A stipend that's equivalent to $3,600 a year for those in the family plan ease into the transition," Rogers said.

However, some workers are concerned that at the end of that year, some employee would not be able to afford to work for the city.

"If they know that this is going to be the cost to work in the city with a family and provide insurance for them, I think they may look at other options," Macaluso said.

The city has budgeted for 636 employees and currently has about 100 vacancies:

  • 64 employees enrolled in the family plan and 77 workers enrolled in the dual plan would pay more for their insurance.
  • 299 employee enrolled in the single plan are not affected.
Possible insurance hike

Possible insurance hike