Insurance debate

WAYNESFIELD — Employee health insurance again hit the forefront as Waynesfield Village Council members discussed the topic during Monday’s council meeting.

Councilors Rich Libby and Chris Kaufman presented an option to council that would still provide the village with a savings of $10,259 but according to the committee’s findings they also would provide the village’s seven employees with a good plan.

“At this point, we are looking at it from an aspect of allowing the village to operate but still providing good health care,” Libby said.

The option the two presented would provide employees with 100 percent of their premiums paid, but dependents tacked on to the insurance would pay 25 percent of the premiums for coverage. The drug plan included a tier program at costs of $20, $40 and $75. The estimated savings for the plan would vary depending on use for the prescription portion of the coverage.

Councilor Cheryl Jerew provided some numbers from like-sized villages for health care coverage of municipal employees and said she felt the coverage was too much when compared to other villages.  However, Libby said he felt the presentation did not take everything into account.

“If you look at the total wage package, I do not see anything out of line,” Libby said.

Councilors will vote on the insurance presentation at their October meeting after review of the option recommended to council.

A public meeting was scheduled for Oct. 15 at the high school auditeria to address the possibility of bringing natural gas to the village as a utility.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the village will need to assess properties for an assessment bond to secure the money for the project due to there not being enough equity in village-owned property to borrow $4 million for the project. However, the move could pay for itself just in the savings from switching from high-cost propane, according to some estimates.