Cost of health services rising by 3 percent
Canal Winchester, Groveport and Madison Township all currently are working to renew contracts for health services through the Franklin County Board of Health for 2014.
The county agency has a negotiated contract with 14 suburban central Ohio communities, providing services such as inspections and enforcement of building health codes and preventive measures such as mosquito control.
Health board representative Susan Tilgner said the 2014 contract includes a cost increase of 3 percent, which brings the rate up to $6.11 per resident served.
"All 14 of our contract cities pay the same per-capita rate," she said. "The 3-percent increase is based on an internal increase in our expenses of 1.3 percent for the board from things like health insurance premium increases and staffing increases, as well as other costs going up like fuel and supplies."
At their Oct. 16 meeting, Madison Township trustees agreed to the new 2014 contract,which will cost the township $7,249, an increase of $236 over 2013 costs.
If Canal Winchester City Council approves the new contract, the total cost for the city will be $43,753, an increase of $1,288 over 2013.
Likewise, Groveport City Council members have not yet approved the contract, but if they do, the total cost to the city will be $33,085, an increase of $974 over 2013.
Tilgner said even with the cost increase, using the Franklin County Board of Health as a shared service, as opposed to each community maintaining its own health programs, is less expensive
"To compare what we feel are apples to apples, the city of Columbus spends about $18 per capita versus our $6.11," Tilgner said. "That's a third of the cost."
Canal Winchester Mayor Michael Ebert said he believes the county contract is a great deal as well, and anticipates it will be renewed.
"Since Canal Winchester lies within two counties, we have the option of contracting with either county for their services," he said.
"We have been very pleased with the services that the Franklin County Health Department has provided and, barring any unforeseen obstacles, we will likely renew the contract when it comes around," Ebert said.