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New Council members to pay health care premiums

11/29/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

In the future, New Franklin Council members will make monthly contributions toward the currently free health care benefits they receive from the city.

According to legislation on the matter approved on first reading at the Nov. 21 New Franklin City Council meeting, Council members who elect to be covered under the employees’ plan will have to pay $50 a month for single coverage, $100 for family coverage or $25 per month for secondary insurance coverage. The payments will be due by the fifth day of each month.

The new health insurance payment plan will become effective Jan. 1, 2014, for at-large Council members and Jan. 1, 2016, for ward representatives.

The legislation was originally sponsored by at-large Council members Harry Gehm and Judy Jones, but all other Council members asked to be included as sponsors during the meeting.

“This is something that has been discussed for several years,” said Jones.

Currently, the city’s health care plan includes 53 people, and none of them pay monthly health care premiums, according to Mayor Al Bollas.

Councilman Paul Adamson (Ward 1) said the legislation would serve as an asset toward future negotiations with other city employees on making contributions.

Council also approved a resolution to appropriate property at 4410 Manchester Road needed for the state Route 619/state Route 93 intersection improvements. The measure was needed, as the property owner has yet to reach an agreement with city officials on the purchase, according to Law Director Tom Musarra.

Legislation to renew contract agreements with CTI Engineers Inc. and GPD Group were placed on time, as were two rezonings that include the southeast corner of Manchester and West Turkeyfoot Lake roads from B-2 (Heavy Commercial) to R-2 (Medium Density Residential), and 105 parcels located at the south end of Turkeyfoot Lake from R-3 (High Density Residential) to R-L (Lakefront Residential), both pending public hearings.

Also during the meeting, Bollas announced resident Mary Phelps died Nov. 19 at the age of 112. Bollas said Phelps was believed to be the oldest living person in Ohio. On Sept. 26, Bollas presented Phelps with flowers and a proclamation naming Aug. 5, her birthday, as Mary Lucretia Miller Phelps Day in the city in perpetuity. Phelps was buried at Greenlawn Memorial Park Nov. 24.

Bollas also told Council he plans to present legislation at the next meeting for a lease-to-purchase agreement for a late-model used vehicle for the police department to replace one involved in an accident recently. The 2004 Dodge Stratus involved in the accident, which was caused by another vehicle that ran a traffic light, had 70,000 miles on it and is used by the chief and detectives for surveillance, he said.

Bollas also reported he has set up a meeting with RITA, the city’s income tax collection agency, to discuss a subpoena program for nonfilers. Bollas said that in September, 2,165 letters to those residents were sent out, and 1,121 responded to a request to file paperwork, leaving 1,044. Bollas said the remaining residents were asked to report to the city over a two-day period in December, which would cost the city $8,352, in addition to attorney fees and collection fees. Bollas said in addition to concerns for the cost, he was not sure the city could handle that many people in the two-day period, and he hopes a meeting on the matter can resolve those issues.

The next New Franklin Council meeting will take place Dec. 5 beginning at 6 p.m. with committee meetings and continuing at 7 p.m. for the regular meeting at City Hall, 5611 Manchester Road.

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