Decision made on county insurance


Commissioners Jeff Duncan, Shane Wilkin, and Tom Horst are pictured during Wednesday’s meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

Even though doctors at Highland District Hospital are currently not in theUnited Health Care network, commissioners have decided to go ahead with a renewal with the insurance carrier.

United Health Care is offering the county a 4-percent reduction in premium from last year, commissioner Shane Wilkin said last week. Going with another carrier was also discussed at that meeting, but that could have meant a substantial increase in premiums, which could affect taxpayers.

Wilkin said he only heard from two county employees in the last week, each of them saying that they didn’t want to pay more for insurance. Commissioners Jeff Duncan and Tom Horst said they had heard no comments on the matter since last week.

The renewal means that while the county saves money with United Health Care, county employees on the plan will either have to pay higher deductibles to see physicians who are out-of-network, or will have to travel elsewhere to see a physician that is within the network.

Horst said the county would be able to change carriers within the contract period with a 30-day notice, if the need to do so arose.

In other business, commissioners accepted a bid for $5,600 for the installation of a restroom at the Highland County Dog Pound office. Dog warden Cathy Seifer said an individual has stepped up and offered to pay half of the cost and has already purchased some of the needed materials.

On other dog pound matters, commissioners talked about dividers for the kennels, something Seifer said was a necessity. Duncan said he already received a couple quotes from two companies for $500 and $300 per galvanized panel. He said he will research further in regard to lower costs and other materials that may be able to be used instead of metal.

According to Seifer, there are a total of 20 kennels.

In other business, Horst mentioned surveillance improvements at the Highland County Courthouse.

A total of nine surveillance cameras are currently being installed around the perimeter of the courthouse, as well as inside the building. The equipment was purchased through a grant sought by Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss through the Ohio Supreme Court.

Coss said the additional cameras inside will cover “dead spots” within the building not previously covered by the existing cameras.

Along with the new digital cameras, a new recorder was also purchased that can handle up to 16 digital cameras and 16 analog cameras, he said.

Coss said the grant of more than $11,000 covers all of the cost of the improvements and that no county money was used for the project.

Work on the roof of the Justice Center is anticipated to begin next week, Horst said, adding that is about two weeks ahead of schedule. As commissioners have previously discussed, the old roof has many issues, including areas where the membrane has deteriorated causing leaks. Commissioners approved $269,519 in late May for the new roof.

Horst previously said the old roof is 13 years old and only had a 10-year guarantee. The new roof will have a 25-year warranty.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

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