At the May 29 meeting of the Chatfield City Council, City Clerk Joel Young reported on the savings the city and its employees could secure through a change in health insurance providers. Councilors Mike Urban and Paul Novotny were absent.
The city renews its insurance each year. Young noted the city has been with Health Partners for some time. But, due to the significant increase in rates, the Personnel and Budget Committee recommended a change of providers to Public Employee’s Insurance Plan.
Changing the health insurance provider will save the city and its employees $72,000 over 2017 Health Partners rates and $114,000 over their 2018 proposed rates. Young said the plan will function differently, but if employees choose similar plans to what they have had, the premium will be $13,945 per month compared to $23,446 per month with Health Partners.
A change to the new carrier was approved along with health savings account contributions. H.S.A. contributions will be a flat rate of $3,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a family.
Other business in brief
• Brian Krenz, the new director of Historic Bluff Country, thanked the council for their support. He suggested there would not be the Scenic Byway without the work of the HBC. He outlined a number of goals the organization is working on, which include increasing city and business memberships, establishing a policy for regular updates for members, and the creation of an easy to use website.
Facebook promotions are now the primary marketing avenue for HBC. Krenz said they are working to regain trust of former and potential members. HBC will meet with Root River Trail Towns on June 20 to see how they can work together to promote tourism in the region. Promotion of the Scenic Byway brings people to cities along the route where they may enjoy the services of local businesses.
• A 12-year preventative maintenance contract with KLM Engineering was approved. The service agreement is for inspection services of water storage reservoirs, which includes clean out and inspection on a four year cycle for each reservoir. The city will be billed after the completion of each service.
• A raffle permit to St. Mary’s Catholic Church for August 12 was approved.
• A $4,000 contribution to the Summer Recreation Program was approved.
• A part-time police officer recently resigned. The council gave the go ahead to advertise, starting the hiring process for part-time officers.
• A proposal from Ruskell Outdoor Services was approved for broadleaf control in Mill Creek and Groen Parks.
• The Park and Recreation Committee discussed a request to reserve Groen Park for a fall wedding. Councilor Josh Broadwater said the trade-in and purchase of a new mower was discussed and may be brought to the next council meeting for their consideration.
• The fire department has requested approval to replace two Bullard infrared cameras at a price of $9,143. The cameras are nine years old. Bullard is running a one-time offer to provide $3,850 for trade on each camera, which were purchased new for about $5,000 each. New cameras are improved and will have a five-year warranty. The purchase was approved as requested.
• Councilor John McBroom said the possibility of purchasing circulating fans for the fire department was discussed at the Public Services Committee. The fans would be used to help dry wet gear. No action taken this day.
• Broadwater commented that more building permits are being issued. People are coming to Chatfield to live.