Commissioners Renew Health Insurance, Get Closer On Signing Road Maintenance Agreement With Trade Wind Energy

WAYNE – Two agenda items that took up the bulk of a roughly three-hour Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting pertained to health insurance and the Haystack road maintenance agreement.

Commissioners held their first of two regularly scheduled meetings in the month of July Tuesday morning from the Public Safety Annex.

Steve Muir with Elkhorn Valley Insurance brought information forward to the board that they’ve had quite a few good years with health insurance but had a recent tough year and it’ll show with medial plan going up around 21% and optional dental plan rising around 5% through United Health Care. The cause of the increase came from more claims being filed.

Aside from the price increase, coverages are not really changing. Deb Finn, county clerk also mentioned that their prices are still lower than 2015. Last year, the county saw about a nine percent increase and the year before that only about a three percent rise.

A brief discussion took place of either renewing with United Health Care or going out to bid. If the commissioners wanted to bid it out it would take longer than a month. Several county employees were in attendance and appreciated the boards decision in renewing the health insurance as the employees are willing to compromise by covering some of the increase. This discussion will take place during the budget session in August.

The upcoming August bill will also show a 15% COVID credit through UHC.

County attorney, Amy Miller then went through a red-lined version of the Haystack road maintenance agreement between Wayne County and Trade Wind Energy. Nick Coil, Development Manager with Tradewind was also in attendance as the two groups are a little closer in agreement.

Once approved, Tradewind will have to provide 30% of design work six months ahead of the scheduled project as the commissioners will also have to sign an impact report to approve the work. Then, the final site layout plan will need to be submitted to Wayne county within 60 days of construction as Tradewind is looking to start work on the roads this fall before construction in 2021.

Within the agreement, each hillcrest cut would cost Tradewind $10,000 and another $1,000 for each intersection and radius expansion. The road maintenance agreement also stated Tradewind will need to have 25% based on 150 tons per mile on stockpile for county roads that will see heavy and oversize equipment usage except for minimum maintenance roads.

Another concern the commissioners have is ice build up on the transmission lines and need them off the right-of-way. The commissioners will send their thoughts and concerns about the agreement to Miller prior to next meeting and hope to make a decision during the July 21 meeting.

Pat Brentlinger also brought forward issues with the outdoor chiller to the board of commissioners. Pat had to reset the switch five times on Monday and seven times against just before Tuesday mornings meeting. A tech from Trane was looking at the pressure switch Tuesday for short-period fix as Brentlinger is hoping they can get through the remainder of the warmer months before shutting it down for the winter. County offices were ranging from 78 – 80 degrees with no cool water running through the building.

Following an executive session, the board also signed a one-year contract with the state auditor’s office to audit the records of the county for the fiscal year ending June 2020.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 21 at 9 a.m.