Feb. 26--OZARK--The Dale County Commission will continue to foot an increase in county employees' insurance premiums through September that could have cost employees with family coverage as much as the 3-percent cost-of-living increase given this fiscal year.
Commission Manager Frank Carroll said earlier that the county's health insurance company cited an estimated $42,000 discrepancy that supposedly led to employees receiving a preferred rate last year for longer than they were supposed to. According to Carroll, the error was a result of the company claiming the county had enough employees to qualify for a preferred rate but later claiming the county didn't.
Carroll said the county now has enough employees to qualify for the preferred rate but that the company expected employees to begin earlier this year paying the standard rate until the other funds were repaid, which could equate for employees with family coverage to a bulk of the 3-percent cost-of-living increase the commission approved for them earlier this fiscal year.
According to Dale County Commission Manager Mark Blankenship, the increase would equal about $4,900 per month or about $44,000 through the end of the year.
Carroll said commissioners have agreed to cover insurance premiums for a period of time before.
The money would essentially be pulled from savings until the matter is resolved, he said.
In other business, the commission agreed to put on hold the full closure of the Dale County landfill. According to commission engineer Derek Brewer, it could cost the commission $70,000 to $90,000 per acre to close out the 18 acres of the landfill.
"This is a lot higher than I thought it would be," Brewer said.
The commission also approved changing the pay grade of Dale County Jail Administrator Ron Nelson from a grade 9 to a grade 12, which caps at $42,352. Officials said the change would set Nelson's salary consistent with what Nelson may have received in overtime in past years.
The county also discussed a new vehicle policy that Blankenship said gives greater accountability for the county's vehicles. The policy will be posted for 10 days and likely set for a vote the next meeting.
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