Boro Council Makes Workers’ Comp Decision
Workers’ compensation insurance, fuel oil and streets dominated McConnellsburg Borough Council’s regular agenda last Wednesday evening.
Bobby Snyder, the borough’s insurance agent, met with council members to inform them of impending increases and/or cancellations in workers’ compensation insurance due to the 2011 Firefighter Cancer Presumption Act. Snyder said that while the law received nearly unanimous support when it was passed in 2011, the requirement is now raising questions for municipal leaders confronting much higher premiums or insurance cancellation notices.
The law requires workers’ compensation coverage for firefighters who develop cancer from exposure to carcinogens. The law allows firefighters with at least four years experience and who were exposed to carcinogens on the job to make workers’ compensation claims for up to 11.5 years after retirement.
The borough’s workers’ comp policy renews in May 2014, while the policy carried by the borough, Todd, Ayr and Licking Creek townships for the fire company renews in January 2014. Snyder’s recommendation was that the borough act immediately before any cancellations to take the fire company, both paid and volunteer, policies to the State Workers Insurance Fund to be able to keep the borough’s insurance with the private carrier at the lower rate. Snyder said the cost will increase from about $36,000 to $46,000. Council voted unanimously on a Jim Smith/Rick Buterbaugh motion to make the change. The borough also voted to continue the certified safety committee meetings for the fire company policy in order to receive the 5 percent discount on premiums.
Council opened bids for fuel oil for the Fulton House. Two bids were received. C&M’s bid was for a lock-in price of $3.40 per gallon, while Twin Oil’s bid was for a lockin price of $3.39 per gallon. The bid was awarded to Twin Oil on a Buterbaugh/Smith motion.
In other business, council voted to erect a “no outlet” sign at the end of South First Street as several tractor-trailer trucks have made a wrong turn onto the street and wound up stuck in the cul de sac.
Council also revisited the postmaster’s request to have signs erected in front of the post office for limited parking. Council has agreed in the past to erect a handicapped sign in front of the post office, but say they cannot erect signs in front of other properties adjoining the post office.
An East Market Street property was discussed after council received complaints about the length of time being taken to raze and clear a property on that street. It was noted that there could be safety issues with the way in which the property has been barricaded, including the fact that one of the barricades juts into the street posing a risk to vehicle traffic. Borough secretary Jack Fields said he would speak with the owner to find out his plan on moving forward.
During other business, Councilman Rick Buterbaugh spoke to council about the upcoming dissolution of the Parks and Rec Commission. Buterbaugh said that a large portion of the funds remaining in the account came from the borough’s $2,000 contribution in 2012. He went on to say that the organization’s bylaws indicate that, upon dissolution, remaining funds would go to a like-minded organization. Buterbaugh asked if the borough would agree to waive the return of any of its funding in order to donate it to another organization that sponsors recreation programs and council agreed.
Council also agreed to renew its membership to the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism for $75 per year.
It was noted that council members Jim Smith, Pat Booth and Pat Frazier were all re-elected as was Mayor Mike Chilcote. All were reminded that they must be sworn in before the beginning of 2014.
During regular business, council voted to approve October bills in the amount of $10,300.26. Receipts for the same period were $19,271.59. Checks were written for $21,482.57, leaving a November 1 balance of $35,957.47.
Council members present were Travis Bard, David Washabaugh, Pat Booth, Pat Frazier, Rick Buterbaugh, Jim Smith, Adam Gress and Mayor Mike Chilcote.
Borough Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton House. The next regular meeting will be held December 4, 2013.