(a) The area authority shall establish a salary plan which shall set the salaries for employees of the area authority. The salary plan shall be in compliance with Chapter 126 of the General Statutes. In a multi-county area, the salary plan shall not exceed the highest paying salary plan of any county in that area. In a single-county area, the salary plan shall not exceed the county's salary plan. The salary plan limitations set forth in this section may be exceeded only if the area authority and the board or boards of county commissioners, as the case may be, jointly agree to exceed these limitations.
(b) An area authority may purchase life insurance or health insurance or both for the benefit of all or any class of authority officers or employees as a part of its compensation. An area authority may provide other fringe benefits for authority officers and employees.
(c) An area authority that is providing health insurance under subsection (b) of this section may provide health insurance for all or any class of former officers and employees of the area authority who are receiving benefits under Article 3 of Chapter 128 of the General Statutes. Health insurance may be paid entirely by the area authority, partly by the area authority and former officer or employee, or entirely by the former officer or employee, at the option of the area board. (1977, c. 568, s. 1; 1979, c. 358, ss. 15, 23; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)