County gets unanticipated $207,000 reduction in health insurance

By Heather Michon, Correspondent

County supervisors, who had anticipated spending about $435,000 on health insurance increases for fiscal year 2019, will only spend $228,000 – a $207,000 reduction, management analyst Mary Anna Twisdale told the Board during its regular meeting Wednesday (May 2).

“I thought you’d like some good news,” she said.

Twisdale said bids from other insurers came in higher than they had hoped. They eventually negotiated Cigna, the county’s current health care provider, down to a 15 percent increase. The dental insurance program will rise by 9 percent.
In a 3-2 vote, supervisors decided that the county would absorb the cost of the increases for health care, and county employees would pay for the increase in dental care.

This leaves the unexpected $207,000 for the county.  Finance Director Eric Dahl outlined several options, but the Board’s consensus was to return it to the fund balance. A formal motion will be presented later.

In other business, County Registrar Joyce Pace said that 15 homes along the Fluvanna/Louisa county line were assigned to the wrong voting district.
The Virginia Department of Elections, which has been comparing 2010 census block data with voter rolls all over the state, found the problem.
She said it would cost about $800 for the county to notify the 24 affected registered voters at those addresses. With just a few weeks before early absentee voting is set to begin, she urged that it be done as soon as possible.

Capt. Von Hill of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office asked the Board’s permission to apply for a grant that would allow them to bring a school resource officer (SRO) to the county’s elementary schools.

The sheriff’s office currently has two SROs for the high school and middle school, but Hill noted that there has been an increasing need for those officers to visit the elementary schools.

SROs “build a more supportive environment for student to flourish,” Hill explained, with duties that extended beyond mediating schoolyard disputes.
By identifying at-risk kids in the schools, they are uniquely positioned to get help to students and families struggling with mental health, substance abuse, and other problems in the home that so often end up impacting classroom behavior.

The four-year $50,000 grant would require matching funds from the county of about $15,600 a year. “I think it’s a high value to Fluvanna County,” said Hill. The supervisors agreed, voting 5-0 to allow him to pursue the grant.

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