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$600,000 expected in buyout savings

The Town of Amherst expects to save more than $600,000 in salaries and benefits as the result of a buyout offer made to employees with at least 10 years of service.

The separation incentive, approved by the Town Board last month, gave employees $1,000 for each year of service up to a total of $20,000 per employee. A total of eight employees took the buyout, most of whom will be off the town payroll by the end of the month.

They include five crew chiefs and maintenance workers in the Highway Department, a Wastewater Treatment Plant mechanic, a Town Court clerk and a police dispatch employee, said Supervisor Barry Weinstein.

"There's no present plans to fill any of the positions with a new employee," he said.

Some town employees will be promoted to pick up extra work where needed. Other vacated town positions will likely be left open, though a few in-house transfers may be possible, Weinstein said.

The departing employees each carried between 12 and 35 years of service with the town and earned a combined salary of $442,470, the supervisor said. Including benefits, the employees cost the town up to $660,000.

The town cost for the buyout is a onetime expense of $146,000, he said.

This is at least the third year in a row that the town has offered a separation incentive to its employees.

The town offered a buyout incentive in 2009, and in 2010, the town offered a state early retirement incentive for employees age 50 and older.