Premium increases are under budget
SIKESTON - While other government groups are seeing huge jumps in their group health insurance premiums, Sikeston will only see a modest increase.
Council members approved the renewal of the city's group health insurance plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield with a 5.8 percent increase in premiums during Monday's special city council meeting.
Karen Bailey, city treasurer, reported the savings for the city will be about $12,000 as they had budgeted for a 10-percent increase.
Most government group are seeing double-digit rate hikes for next year, according to Bailey. Scott County, which is also insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield, was recently advised they can expect a 29-percent increase if they renew their current plan.
Bailey credited "our employees' excellent job of staying within the plan" for keeping premiums down. She said employees have done well by staying in the network and opting for generic drugs.
This is the final year of a three-year contract with the health insurance provider.
In other city council business, recommendations for the 2003 Street Program were presented to the council to review and City Manager Doug Friend said money budgeted for a code enforcement vehicle will be used instead to replace hazardous light poles at the girls' softball field.
Tom Bridger, public works director, reported the leaf collection program is running a bit behind schedule due to the recent ice storm and holidays.
Bills read for the first time in preparation for action during the regular meeting Jan. 6 included:
* A bill calling for April general election;
* A subdivision of replat of the property located immediately north of Alan Wire;
* A bill accepting the donation of 613 Dorothy;
* Bills bringing city code into compliance with the Charter;
* A bill authorizing landowner-initiated annexation of the Hayward property, a 500-foot strip of land located east of Highway 61.
Friend said today ends the 14-day public comment period and that no comments were received.