Cloverdale to save thousands with new insurance plan

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council met for its monthly meeting on Tuesday evening in which it discussed changing insurance plans, the budget and utility work.

Town Marshal Michael Clark came before the council to discuss the town's insurance policy.

"All the employees and I know the town board has not been happy with the current health insurance," Clark said. "I've held an insurance license. I've sold insurance part-time for years. So, after talking to Cheryl I took on the responsibility to see if I could find anything better than what we have."

Currently, the policy that the town has does not cover doctor visits or prescriptions, yet is extremely pricey with a $3,500 deductible.

The new plan, which was proposed by Clark, has a $3,500 deductible but it covers prescriptions and doctor visits with a $35 co-pay.

"It's better coverage and it's much less expensive," Clark said. "Currently, you only have five employees on the health insurance and quiet honestly it's because most of them can't afford it and none of them can really afford to have their family on it."

Clark noted that the annual premium for 2013 for those five town employees was $65,316.84.

The coverage that Clark recommended would allow all nine employees to have insurance through the town, including several with families for a total premium of $58,024.92. Nearly $44,000 in savings if all nine employees were on the current health plan.

The current plan through IACT is due to expire on October 1. The board chose to go accept the one-year deal with Assurant Health.

Clerk-treasurer Cheryl Galloway came before the council following a discussion with Lori Young of Curry and Associates engineers, to establish a storm water utility, which could help the town get a much needed grant in the future.

"She told me that she recommends that the town start moving forward to establish the storm water utility," Galloway explained. "It can include a simple $1 per month charge for maintenance of the town's storm water drains. It would be important for Cloverdale to establish the storm water utility in order to be competitive on the storm water grant funding through OCRA."

The council agreed that setting up a storm water utility was the right thing to do. However, the council needs to create an ordinance, which will be done next month.

The council also held its public hearing for the 2014 budget. Having no input from the public, the council agreed to approve the 2014 budget, which had been advertised twice in the paper.

Utility Manger Richard Saucerman also came before the council to once again discuss the storm drainage on Lafayette Street, which is in need of work.

Saucerman stated that he would recommend contracting the work out, as it would get done much faster than if the utility department was assigned the work.

However, the council is also looking into taking the hump out of the road at Grant and Market Streets, as it is difficult for any larger vehicles or truck to use.

"It's going to be hard to take the whole complete hump out," Saucerman said. "If we take few feet out we could leave the sewer the way it is."

Saucerman noted that he believes it will not be possible for the town to complete both projects with the $100,000 budget.

The council decided to table the issue until Saucerman received quotes on both projects before making any decisions. Will make next month

The issue of the salary ordinance was also discussed by Saucerman, as he would like to change part-time workers pay form $9 per hour to $12 per hour in order to get more qualified employees.

The salary ordinance itself will soon be under revision as it must be updated before the new year. However, it is likely that an ordinance will be created during the October meeting to adjust the utility worker's hourly pay.

The rezoning of Floyd Freeman's property, which was previously discussed at the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Freeman had wanted to rezone 4.93 acres of residential property on the U.S. 231 corridor to allow businesses to build on that land.

It was recommended by the BZA to not approve Ordinance 2013-7, which is what the council decided to do.

"You can't sit there and say we haven't stepped up to the plate because we have," said council member Dennis Padgett. "If it could be done we'd do it."

In other business:

* The council approved Building Inspector Mark Cassida to purchase four new tires from Haywood's for a cost of $386.

* The council officially decided to not hire a financial consultant at this time.

* The council approved having school zone speed limits from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Signs will be posted as soon as possible.

* Jim Steele will be reimbursed $655 for a sewer backup.

* The town will purchase a light for the new lift station with the left over grant money. It is believed the money had to be used by the end of August, but if funds are available they will be used.

* Jim and Judy Hacker came before the council looking for an easement to tap into the town's water. The couple noted that in 1974 an ordinance was created, which would allow them to do so. The council decided that the proper paperwork needed to be presented before it would be allowed.

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