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Health insurance going up by almost $14,000

Published November 07. 2013 05:00PM

Eldred Township supervisors are facing neary $14,000 in increased costs for employee insurance.

Chairman Clair Borger said at Wednesday's meeting that the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors is canceling its health care insurance with the Trustees Insurance and Retirement Service, who contracted with a Trustmark for Aetna coverage. Trustmark is going out of business because of Obama Care. Trustees is now contracting directly with Aetna who will be PSATS new carrier.

The company will offer the same coverage but it will cost an additional $4,634 per employee for the year.

The township pays health insurance for three full-time people. Under the new Obama Care, that health insurance will now cost the township an additional $13,902 per year.

"Whatever happened to President Obama's promise that nothing would change if we liked our health care?" Borger said.

Supervisor Chairman Borger said the 2014 proposed Eldred Township General Fund Budget is $776,203. That is an increase from 2013's by $116,545.

"We're having a larger carry-over, so we're starting the year out with more money, an extra $100,000," said Supervisor/secretary Sharon Solt.

The 2014 Proposed State Fund Budget is $183,832.26. That is an increase from 2013's by $46,086.72.

"We didn't use all the state fund money in 2013 so there is a carry-over," explained Solt who assures there will be no tax increase for Eldred residents.

Solt said that the budget is available for view during business hours, which are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the first and third Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The budget will be approved at the Dec. 4 meeting.

Ambulance service

A discussion was held whether or not to designate the West End Community Ambulance as the township's medical emergency responder. WEA is asking Eldred to designate it.

Township solicitor Michael Kaspszyk said that he didn't think it was necessary to designate one particular service since a call into the Emergency Dispatch center will always disburse the closest. He told the supervisors that they have not designated a service in the past but they are free to do what they would like.

Jack Rader Jr., Jackson Township supervisor chairman, was in attendance. He said that he believes the local ambulance services are competing with outside services and that is why they were asking for the townships they serve for their commitment.

Eldred's supervisors said they would table the issue until Terri Rovito from WEA could make her presentation to the board.

Trash removal

Jim Lambert, executive director of Monroe County Municipal Waste Authority (MCMWA), said he was visiting Monroe County's 20 municipalities and townships to tell everyone that the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority signed an agreement to reserve landfill space at a discounted rate for solid waste disposal for the next 10 years.

As part of the 2015-24 Monroe County Waste Management Plan, MCMWA negotiated disposal rates as much as 35 percent below current rates. That savings should affect commercial and residential users. The plan has to be approved by each of the county's municipalities and townships before it can be sent to the state Department of Environmental Protection for its approval.

"We encourage all townships to do more recycling. We'll be doing more education in the county but under the law, you're (Eldred) not mandated to do more. But we are here to help you," Lambert said.

Supervisor Vice President Gretchen Gannon Pettit said that the township has a big tire problem area and wondered if MCMWA could help. Lambert said that tires can be brought to the MCMWA site on Rt. 115, Blakeslee for $2 a tire. He said he was aware of a site on Greenzweig Road where there must be 500 tires.

"We have that area targeted. We had applied for a grant to fund removal but didn't get enough for that site. We're still looking into getting more funding," he said.

The board approved the resolution for the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Plan.

The township roadmaster, Keith Kuehner reported the road crew is cleaning leaves from the shoulders and that the clean up at the 57 Hotel has now been completed.

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