MORRIS – The county will save about $13,000 in insurance fees by incorporating the veteran’s commission into the county insurance plan.
The Grundy County Finance Committee approved Monday changes to the county’s insurance trust, allowing the Grundy County Veteran’s Assistance Commission to be covered through the insurance trust for a significantly lower premium.
Ongoing court battles with former Grundy County VAC Superintendent Elton Monson have caused increases to the VAC’s liability insurance premiums and maxed out its budget for legal fees this year.
The commission is slated to be about $35,000 over its fiscal 2014 budget, thanks to the increasing legal fees and insurance premiums.
“The biggest overages are insurance and legal fees this year,” current VAC Superintendent Ken Buck told the Finance Committee Monday.
Finance Committee Chairman John Galloway said the decision to enroll the VAC into the trust was simple.
“We’re doing this because of the insurance savings we’ll see by wrapping him into our program,” Galloway said after the meeting. “It will reduce the VAC insurance by about $14,000 and would increase the county’s payments by $800. It just makes sense.”
During previous committee discussions, Buck proposed the creation of a VAC tax levy equivalent to about .02 percent to help fund the commission and help to cover its climbing legal costs.
After approving the insurance changes, the committee decided against the tax levy. Instead, finance members favored using cash reserves to bridge any future VAC budget gaps.
“Personally, I don’t think we need that levy right now. We can fund the VAC with the reserves we have and still give them a fair budget,” committee member Dick Joyce said.
“Down the road, it’s a tool we may need to use, but as far as right now, I don’t think we need it.”
Genesis energy grant
The county should save about $23,000 a year by installing new light fixtures and light bulbs through a grant-funded opportunity.
The finance committee approved Monday to pay Genesis Energy about $13,500 to move forward with the energy project which involves replacing several of the outdated light fixtures within the county administration building.
Genesis conducted an energy audit earlier this year and has helped the county secure several thousands in grant money which will pay for a large portion of the project.
“We have fixtures right now that there are no bulbs being manufactured for anymore,” Grundy County Administrator Heidi Miller told the committee.
Money aside, the county will become significantly more energy efficient with the new installations.
“I think this is a smart move,” Galloway said.