Delaware News

Despite bleak predictions, Sunbury ends 2012 in black

Council gives nod to health insurance plan with no changes from last year

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Sunbury finished out 2012 with a $355,000 cash carryover in its general fund -- an unexpected turnaround from estimates earlier in the year that projected a $300,000 deficit.

Fiscal Officer Kathy Belcher said before the Jan. 16 Village Council meeting that several factors played a role in keeping the general fund in the black. The village spent less than expected, received more income tax revenue and took in $100,000 more in state money than expected.

Belcher said she was pleased with the results. In July, she had hoped the $2.6 million general fund would break even by the end of the year. At that time, the general fund was ahead of estimates by $160,000, she said.

In another money matter at the Jan. 16 meeting, council voted 4-1 to stay with Medical Mutual of Ohio as its health insurance carrier and keep the same plan it had last year.

The total cost of premiums starting with the Feb. 1 renewal with Medical Mutual will be $343,000, a nearly 14 percent increase from last year. Twenty-one of the village's 28 full-time staff are on the plan.

A family of four on the plan will pay $1,807 this year, up from $1,587 in 2012.

Councilwoman Jennifer Witt voted against keeping the same plan, saying adjustments should be made in the plan's health savings account, with employees kicking in more.

"We have to take some fiduciary responsibility," she said. "I understand it's an impact on the families."

Other council members and Mayor Tommy Hatfield disagreed with Witt.

"I don't think we should ask them to (pay more money) at this time," Councilman David Miller said. "They have had no raises in four years."

Full-time employees received bonuses at the end of 2012, but that is not the same as a raise, Miller added.

Representatives of the Delaware General Health District gave a presentation during the meeting to urge the village to enforce a tobacco-free environment in its parks.

"We want to have tobacco-free parks because of the children ... and to have a place where people can go and do activities and be healthy," said Linda Diamond from the health district.

She said various communities in Delaware County, including Powell, Liberty Township and Genoa Township, already have restricted smoking in parks.

The health district will provide no-smoking signs, or signs with similar phrasing, to communities that want to limit smoking, Diamond said.

"We'll definitely take this (into consideration) and figure out what we want to do," Hatfield told Diamond.

In other news, Hatfield said before the meeting that Village Administrator Dave Martin, who was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash with a deer in Knox County in November, could be healthy enough to return to work in a month or so.

Martin has recovered from most of his injuries, but still is recuperating from a shoulder injury, Hatfield said. He is staying with relatives in Michigan.

"It's going well," the mayor said. "Every day he is getting better."

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