MIssissippi County news
CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County officials are looking into bringing their insurance premiums down by raising the deductible -- this time on property insurance.
During the regular County Commission meeting Thursday, County Clerk Junior DeLay advised commissioners of an option that would lower the county's annual premium by about $11,000 by switching companies and increasing the deductible from $2,500 to $5,000.
DeLay said the county currently has both its liability and property insurance through MOPERM but previously had property insurance through Hartford Insurance. The county's earthquake insurance is still through Hartford, DeLay noted, as MOPERM does not offer earthquake coverage.
The annual premium for property insurance through MOPERM is $31,122 with a $2,500 deductible while Hartford is offering a plan with a $5,000 deductible for $19,392.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg asked DeLay to check rates at both companies for a plan with a $10,000 deductible to see if that brings the premium down even more.
Blumenberg also asked DeLay to confirm the deductible is per incident -- for example, a tornado which damages different properties -- and there is not a separate deductible on each property.
In other business Thursday:
* Commissioners approved publishing a public notice which will begin the process of upgrading the county's Local Government Employees Retirement System plan.
DeLay explained because of credits built up over the years in contributions by the county for employees who are no longer with the county, the county can upgrade its plan from an "L1" low-level plan to an "L7" plan by increasing the county's contribution level from .3 percent to 3 percent. The employee contribution of 4 percent would remain the same.
"We're one of the few counties in the state that are at a low level," DeLay said.
If the plan is upgraded, all of those in the county who are currently participating in LAGERS and have not yet retired would be eligible for significantly better benefits upon retirement, DeLay said.
* Commissioners approved a collector surplus tax distribution of $685.61 to a family member of a deceased owner of property that was auctioned off for unpaid property tax.
This amount is half of the balance left after the unpaid taxes were satisfied, Sandra DeField, treasurer.
The distribution of the other half to the other surviving family member was approved during the Nov. 29 County Commission meeting.
* Claudia Arington, executive director of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, was reappointed as the county's representative for the Southeast Missouri Economic Development Alliance.
Lonnie Thurmond, city administrator for East Prairie, was appointed to serve as the county's alternate.
* Commissioners approved fixing the assessor's office lobby at a cost of $532.32 for the tile.