East Greenwich to Consider Privatizing Health Insurance

by Robert Holt

east greenwich webMICKLETON- At their meeting on Oct. 14, the East Greenwich Township Committee heard a presentation from the Marsh & McLennan Agency about the community’s medical and prescription program with the State Health Benefits Plan.

The 2015 State Plan, covering 36 active employees and 14 retirees, is estimated to be $1,031,520, an increase of $93,594 from this year.

Regional Senior Vice President Jerry Campanaro explained that insurance is being offered through a private marketplace, and has to be better than or equal to East Greenwich’s current plan. Based on Marsh and McLennan’s analysis, the estimated saving for East Greenwich with a private plan would be approximately $166,000.

“That in itself is an amazing amount of money,” remarked East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer. “To be able to save that substantial an amount will have a huge effect on our bottom line next year.”

Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri observed that the Committee was relying on the town’s insurance brokers to do their jobs in the analysis. “They’re the ones signing off,” Bottiglieri commented. “It’s always nice to save money, but not at the expense of our employees and retirees.”

The Committee did not vote on the proposed plan on this evening, but would do so at a future meeting after receiving insurance rates and information.

Insurance presented another departmental problem to East Greenwich, as the Committee discussed more options to pare down expenses. East Greenwich has been collecting its own trash in-house since 2011, and despite better financial expectations, workmen’s compensation and insurance costs have risen since that date.

“We are currently operating at a deficit of $30,000 to $50,000 per year,” declared Archer. “We need to look at other opportunities that may be out there to reduce our costs.”

The Committee voted to allow Solicitor Mark Shoemaker to create a Request for Proposals to explore different services for collecting trash.

They also saw a presentation by Mark Moritz of online auction site GovDeals.com regarding the sale of surplus township vehicles. Archer noted that East Greenwich had fire engines and police department vehicles available for sale.

“This has been highly recommended to us,” Archer said. “We are looking forward to some lucrative income from the surplus equipment we have to sell.”

The Committee also discussed sharing services with the municipal court. Bottiglieri said it was possible to save $60,000 within the first year. “This is a viable option to recruit other towns into our shared services,” he noted. “The idea is to have this implemented by February.”

Committeeman Sam Giordano later reported that judiciary department money was up over $30,000 compared to 2013.

In resolutions, the Committee authorized selling emergency notes in the aggregate amount of up to $32,000. “This is a leftover from repairs made in the township in 2011,” Bottiglieri clarified. “The money was bonded, and this is a balance due.”

They also approved a resolution allowing issuance and sale of up to $9,582,000 in general obligation bonds. “We are rebonding some of the currently issued bonds,” Bottiglieri explained. “This is part of the restructuring of our Township’s debt.”

Elsewhere, Archer swore in Donald Maconi as a Class II Special Officer. East Greenwich Deputy Police Chief Chris Everwine pointed out that Maconi would be working in the school, as part of a shared services agreement.

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