At the September 21, 2016 meeting of the Clark County Commissioners, the Commissioners decided to opt out of the renewal with their current insurance carrier CEBCO. The renewal with current coverage would have required an additional $1.48 million from the county budget to fund. In addition, county employees’ premiums would have been increased by $7.50 to $22.15 a month depending on their plan. County Administrator Jennifer Hutchinson said, “We cannot continue with the current plan.” Before making the decision to pursue a self-insurance option, the commissioners looked at two other options presented by CEBCO. However, even with substantial increases to employees for out of pocket expenses and larger co-pays, the impact to the county budget was close to half a million dollars.

Because of these proposed increase, Hutchinson and Personnel Director Michelle Noble began to explore self-funded insurance options. With the self-funded plan, county employees will see little impact on their use of insurance. However, this type of plan provides several benefits to the county. It allows the county to have greater flexibility in the design of the plan; the county reaps the benefits of good claim experiences; the county has greater access to claims data, and it increases the county cash flow since the county maintains their own reserves. The biggest drawback is that the county bears all of the risk for claims. Hutchinson said, “I think self-funding makes sense now.”

Noble added, “We get more data, more quickly with self-funding. It has been difficult to get information from CEBCO on our data and CEBCO gets the benefit of a good year we don’t. In addition, our rates keep increasing at an alarming rate each year.”

Although the final plan has not been determined, the best option for county employees as well as the county budget appears to increase the cost to the county by $234,000 for 2017 and would only increase employee premiums between $1.00 to $4.00 per month depending on their plan.

A third party administrator who would process claims would administer the self-funded insurance plan. A final decision will be made in the next few months.

In other business, the commissioners approved a contract for the Auditor’s Office with the City of Springfield to host the city’s Geographic Information System (GIS) data from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018. This contract results in income of $12,000 for the county. Commissioner John Detrick said, “This contract is a real plus for city/county cooperation.

For the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS), the commissioners approved a contract with DeBra-Kuempel, Inc for $65,000 to provide HVAC maintenance in the DJFS buildings from September 21, 2016 through September 20, 2017.

They also authorized a contract with Oesterlen Services for Youth for DJFS for $65,000 for respite care services for Clark County Youth who meet the admission requirements at the Clark Greene Madison Respite and Resource Center. The contract is effective September 8, 2016 through September 7, 2017.

For the Transportation Director, the commissioners authorized a contract with Planning NEXT for $214,601 to update the Clark County Comprehensive Plan. According to Scott Schmid, Transportation Director, “The Crossroads Plan has not updated since 1999. The plan should be updated every four to five years, so this is long overdue.” He added, “The process will take from 18 to 24 month” The Plan establishes a structure for making decisions concerning land use and development. It addresses issues related to agricultural land protection, land use, natural resources, parks, recreation and open space, transportation and utilities.

In regular business, the commissioners approved a payment of $11,839 to Arcon Builders, Ltd. for the Juvenile Court Courtyard Improvement Project.

The also approved an amendment to the contract with the Clark County Agricultural Society. According to Hutchinson, the change was a housekeeping item necessitated by the discovery that the roofs on the county owned buildings needed to be replaced. The original contract was to add acoustical ceilings in the Mercantile, Youth and Annex Buildings; replace of water heaters in the Cattle Show Arena and Youth Building; install eight high volume hand dryers in the Mercantile, Annex and Arts and Crafts Building.

For the Solid Waste Director, the commissioners authorized a contract with Accurate IT Services for $10,000 a year with up to four optional renews to pickup and dispose of electronics effective September 21, 2016.

The next meeting of the Clark County Commissioners is scheduled for September 28, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. in the commissioners’ conference room at 50 E Columbia Street.

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