Grove City Record

5-percent bump in Jackson insurance rates expected -- still

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Jackson Township is anticipating a 5-percent increase for the cost of renewing its employees' group health insurance plan.

On Tuesday, April 9, the Jackson Township Board of Trustees listened to a presentation by Frank Harmon of Ohio Insurance Services, the township's insurance agency, about the offer from Medical Mutual of Ohio.

Under the terms presented by Harmon, the township's annual premium would increase from $846,707 to $888,941 which is a 5 percent increase. The employee rates will increase from $344.48 for singles and $856.15 for families to $361.60 and $898.86, respectively.

Benefits include medical is through Medical Mutual of Ohio, dental is through Delta Dental of Ohio and vision is through Vision Services Plan.

Township Administrator Mike Lilly said about 90 of the township's 115 employees are eligible for full-time group insurance.

"Overall, it's a very affordable plan for our employees," Lilly said.

Harmon said the plan did not make many drastic changes from last year's plan.

The trustees were originally scheduled to vote on the proposed renewal at the meeting, but they voted instead to table the resolution after hearing from Sean Sprouse of The Burnham & Flower Insurance Group, which was the township's insurance agency until the board voted to switch to Ohio Insurance Services in January.

Sprouse told the trustees he would be able to get the township a better deal from Medical Mutual that would save "tens of thousands of dollars," which both Harmon and Lilly said was not possible.

"There's no additional rate relief available," Harmon said.

The trustees voted to make Burnham & Flower its agent through April 15, to see what offer could be made.

"All I'm asking for is the opportunity," Sprouse said.

The trustees scheduled a special meeting to take place on Monday, April 15, but in email sent April 12, Lilly said the meeting was cancelled when the township received news from Sprouse that he would not deliver alternative renewal quotes.

"I would like to reiterate that the claims Sean made to save 'tens of thousands of dollars' was an unsubstantiated and bogus claim made by a salesman trying to win over our accounts," Lilly said in the email. "All of us at Jackson Township are constantly trying to find the best ways to save our resources, and we think the insurance plans presented by Frank Harmon from Ohio Insurance Services for our employees provides us with the best product and services at the best price."

Lilly said the tabled resolution would be resurrected at the trustees' next meeting on Tuesday, April 23.

 

EMS vehicles arrive

The township last week received two new emergency medical services vehicles for the Jackson Township Fire Division.

Lilly said they cost around $217,000 each, which is slight discount because the township ordered the two of them together. Normally, they would cost $220,000 each. The EMS vehicles were built by Horton Emergency Vehicles, a Grove City company.

While one of the vehicles is a replacement unit for Fire Station 203, the other will be used at the new Fire Station 204, when construction of the facility is completed.

"It's the first expenditure of Pinnacle TIF money," Lilly said. "It's not all bricks and mortar."

The construction and equipping of the new fire station, being built at 4900 Buckeye Parkway, is being financed by a $1.4 million federal stimulus grant awarded in 2010 and a $2.5 million contribution from Grove City's Pinnacle tax-increment financing district, which was established in 2004. It is scheduled to open in September.

The township has also ordered a pair of new fire engines that are expected to be ready by September, as a cost of $421,000 each.

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