Village of Kalkaska Settles Health Care Lawsuit

Years of an ongoing lawsuit involving the village of Kalkaska is now over.

The village has agreed to pay a whopping $1.63 million to settle it.

The lawsuit started back in 2014 when the council decided to end three former employees and their spouses’ health benefits, even though they were guaranteed benefits for life.

The village stopped paying out these benefits, saying they couldn’t afford it any longer.

The village offered an $80,000 settlement to one family last year, but that was denied.

We spoke with the new village president Harley Wales and he said that he is feeling very fortunate now for the village to have this settled. 

To pay that $1.63 million, over $900,000 will come from bonds, which he says is a large number but feasible for a village the size of Kalkaska.

The rest will come from village funds.

Wales says typically the money would just come out of a general fund, but they were able to pull from other places where the money would have come home if the village paid it all along.

They will also not have to raise taxes or utility bills in order to pay settlement.

Wales says he’s never happy to pay out any amount, but he is pleased that it is now settled and that the village is still financially stable in the wake of the settlement.

We have reached out to the attorney representing the three families but have not heard back.

We will have a full report for you and hear from Wales on 9&10 News at 6.