Insurance on commissioner meeting agenda

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Heath insurance for county employees, the Adult Diversion program and how to best use ARPA funds were among the items on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners' agenda on Tuesday.

Steve Muir with Elkhorn Valley Insurance, presented information to the commissioners on the county's health insurance with UnitedHealthcare.

Muir outlined several minor changes in the coverage and deductible for the coming year. There will also be changes in co-pays for pharmacy charges and the possibility of how different drugs are classified in regard to co-pays.

Muir said there will be a 9.6% increase in costs for the coverage. He noted that this was in the mid-range in increases in the plans he has seen.

Also, a 5.9% increase in the cost of life insurance will be a part of the package.

Commissioners will vote on the item at a future meeting.

County Attorney Amy Miller updated the commissioners on the Adult Diversion Program.

Miller handed out a rough draft of a contract with Kyle Sperry, Adult Diversion Coordinator. She said those going through the diversion program would pay a fee of $350 for the 90-day program. Of that amount, $50 will go to the county.

The program is designed for those 18-22 years of age become successful. Those accused for criminal activities such as Minor in Possession or Consumption or Disturbing the Peace are allowed to go through the program one time. If they do not complete it successfully, they are not allowed to use it again.

Sandra Hansen told the board that there was little new information on plans to use the approximately $500,000 in ARPA funds allocated to Wayne County.

Commissioners spent considerable time discussing how the money could be spent and the time frame for doing so.

Hansen told the commissioners that if a project is denied funding, those funds are lost and cannot be used for another project.

It was noted that requests for funds have to be for items/projects that took place since March of 2020.

Requests for funding must be made by  and the projects completed by 2026.

Discussion was held on the ways some of the other counties in Nebraska had used the funds allocated to them.

Commissioner Terry Sievers said a form of documentation should be used by all those requesting funds and "no one should be treated differently. I don't think we need to hurry on this. Look how much we have learned (about how the money can be used) in the last month. Lots of conversation needs to happen before the money has to be spent."

Eligible projects include those that are COVID related, as well as those involving government services.

In other action, the commissioners approved a request from Lucas Thompson to vacate the 12-foot utility easement between Lots 1A and 1B of the corrected Administrative Replat of Lots 1 and 2 of the Amended Plat of Tuffern Blue Estates Subdivision.

Thompson would like to change the two lots into one lot. The easements contain no utilities at the present time. Instead, they are designed for public use for the property.

Mark Casey, Highway Superintendent, told the commissioners he was planning to meet with a representative of Summit Carbon to answer questions. One commissioner would be able to be present at the meeting also.

He said he has not had any news in regard to the possibility of federal money available for bridge repair.

Ken Olin was reappointed to a five year term on the Veterans' Service Committee, effective July 1, 2022.

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, July 5 at 9 a.m. at the Wayne County Courthouse.

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