SIKESTON - Health insurance is up another 15 percent for city and BMU employees.
Sikeston City Council members awarded the bid to provide employee health insurance for the city and the Board of Municipal Utilities to Blue Cross Blue Shield during their regular meeting Monday.
BMU and the city have shared health insurance plans for the last 15 years, according to Karen Bailey, city treasurer.
Sandra Halley of Buck Consultants was retained by the city and BMU to bid employee health insurance benefits, Bailey said, with both regular and self-
funded insurance programs being discussed.
Results of the bid process were reviewed by Executive Director of the BMU Ed Throop, City Manager Doug Friend, Ron Priday, Lester Wright and Bailey.
The approved insurance plan will result in a 15-percent increase in premiums which should be approximately $12,000 more per month than last year. A 10-percent increase was budgeted.
The total annual premium will depend on which plan - individual, employee plus spouse, or family plan - each employee selects. "The city pays 80 percent and the employee pays 20," Bailey said.
The increase for last year from the year before was 6.3 percent with no benefit changes.
In other business Monday:
* A bill authorizing an agreement between the city and the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission for a Transportation Enhancement Program was approved.
The Sikeston Depot Safety and Historic Enhancement Project was approved for funding under the Transportation Commission's Transportation Enhancement Program, according to Friend, "for improvements in and around the Depot."
The program requires an agreement be entered between the Commission and the local sponsors which are the city and the Sikeston Cultural Development Corporation.
Funds from this program will be used at West Malone between Scott and New Madrid streets for landscaping, fencing and other aesthetic improvements.
* Council authorized an appropriation of $4,500 for calendar year 2006 to be paid in monthly installments to the House of Refuge from the Domestic Violence Shelter Surcharge Fund.
Payments for this appropriation begin in January.
City court costs include a $2 Domestic Violence Shelter Surcharge fee which, under state statutes, are to be used to fund local domestic violence shelters, according to Linda Lowes, director of governmental services.
Shelters seeking funding from this source must submit an application to the city in October.
Lowes said the House of Refuge requested $4,500 with revenue from the surcharge projected to be about $4,900.
In fiscal year 2004, 88 women and 93 children were assisted by the House of Refuge.
* Mayor Mike Marshall recognized Mike Bohannon for his service over the past two years as chairman for the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority board.
The LCRA's board elected new officers in October with David Ziegenhorn being selected as the new chairman, Jay Lancaster as the vice chairman and Brian Menz as treasurer.
The city has a lot of hard-working boards and commissions, "but I can't think of one that's harder working or more important for the future of Sikeston," Marshall said.
He said Bohannon deserves credit for much of the LCRA's success so far. "He's been a bulldog, as you might say, in a lot of ways," Marshall said. "He's led this and got it off the ground."
"We certainly appreciate the recognition," Bohannon said. He said the hard work of the entire LCRA and the support of the city made progress possible.
* A public meeting for the city's blackbird control program is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Clinton building.
* Officials from the Union Pacific Railroad are scheduled for a public forum at the Council's regular December meeting.
* Officials from cities in Iowa and Kansas that read on the Internet about the Sikeston's efforts to restore downtown's brick streets have offered to pass along advice and even replacement bricks, according to Friend.
"It's good to see those bricks," said Councilman Jim Terrell.
* Councilman Michael Harris will be back for two weeks of rest and recreation Dec. 22.
Harris was deployed in April with the Missouri Army National Guard, Engineer Brigade 35th Infantry Division out of Cape Girardeau to Fort Riley, Kan., and was sent to Iraq in June.