City offers insurance plan, 2 years in the making

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
   After two years of committee meetings with city employees and fact searching, the town fathers have came in with a health insurance program they hope employees will embrace.
   The plan will go to a vote of employees. A summary of the plan looks like this:
   The city will offer an MMIA-HDHP-HAS high deductible plan at a cost of $304 per month to all eligible employees. They will use the current $225 stipend toward the premium and the city will cover the balance of $79 toward employees covered by the city plan.
   Employees will be required to have proof of medical insurance coverage in order to be exempt from the City Health Insurance Program. Current employees that can provide proof of alternate coverage will have the current stipend moved into regular wages in order not to penalize employees that have used the stipend to offset another insurance plan.
   A statement will be established pertaining to employees proving exemption from the onset, but then deciding to participate after the stipend has been added into their wage. The statement would be signed by the employee with the understanding that they would be responsible for the first $225 of the insurance cost.
   Require that all employees not able to provide proof of alternate coverage be included n the city provided health insurance. An understanding that from the point of enacting the City Health Insurance Program and going forward, the health insurance becomes a benefit that is offered, but there will be no “in lieu” compensation offered.
   The city will look into enacting a Health Savings Account plan in order to encourage tax-free savings that would be used to go toward deductible costs or other health needs.
   In other news, the council approved three building permits, all primarily for fencing at 509 S. Michigan, 309 S. Maryland and 14 N. Delaware.
   Readers will recall that the firemen recently held elections. The city followed their guidelines and appointed the officers to their respective positions. They are Kevin Moritz Chief; Bryan Jones Assistant Chief; Doug Moritz Captain; Shawn Sullivan Secretary; Jeff Sullivan Treasurer; Dave Richardson Communications Officer; and Joel Farkell, PR.
   The aldermen, on a 3-0 vote, approved the American Legion Post #37 a permit to have a fireworks stand. It will be located in the parking lot of G&D Hardware and be in operation from June 23 to July 5.
   Resolutions 992-993 for conditional use permits for Wayne and Laurie Anderson and Rachel Kinamon were signed.
   Council members OKed the use of either Legion Park or the Swimming Pool Park for the annual “stick horse rodeo” held at Whoop-Up.
   Brent Bandow was hired as a Maintenance Worker I at the ball fields for the summer.
   Cheryl Curry from the Port Authority and county commissioners Cyndi Johnson and Sandy Broesder were on hand to discuss a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
   The purpose of the Monday hearing and discussion was to publically show what the program can do. It is a required step in applying for the grant. The counties CDBG is tied up helping Brady with water projects and since the city seldom applies for this type of grant, the county would like the city to put in for it and use it to help defray remodeling costs at the new Senior Center building on Virginia Street.
   In a monthly report, Chief Gary Dent told the council that the police department received 151 calls in April.
   In part, there were six domestic calls, 19 pubic assists, two rides given to patrons from local bars, a gas line was broken near PVS, tires were slashed on a number of vehicles, there were 18 MIPs written up and three adults were cited for buying alcohol for minors.
   Public Works Director Rich Anderson said the crews did some snow removal from the recent spring blizzard, crews were getting ready for ally clean up and they are working on sewer cleaning.
   Curry gave a brief Port Authority report, saying she is helping with the growth policy and that 609 paper surveys randomly went out in the mail and she is looking at funding possibilities for the Senior Center.
   The next regular meeting of the council will be on May 18, 7:30 p.m. in city hall, 411 ½ S. Main Street.