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Middlebourne Insurance Coverage Changes

By Staff | May 21, 2015

At Middlebourne’s regular council meeting on Monday, May 11, council approved a change to the town’s property and casualty insurance. The change will bring about a savings of $9,800 per year.

Two proposals were considered, one with Commercial Insurance Inc. of Charleston being proposed at $25,352 per year compared to $35,200 per year from Traveler’s Insurance, provided through Wetzel Valley Agencies of New Martinsville. It was also noted the Commercial Insurance Policy will include coverage of the Park and Recreation and Travelers would not. The town presently is insured by Travelers.

Mayor Charles DeLauder told council the change would be for one year and would be up for renewal again next spring. Council unanimously voted to approve Commercial Insurance as the new carrier for the town.

A change in the medical insurance for town employees was also approved on Monday. The town will now be purchasing a plan from Etna Insurance. Under the new plan, Middlebourne will save around $6,200 per month. Under the old plan the premiums for four town employees was around $11,000 per month compared to $4,800 under the new deal. Deductibles will increase but the town will still pay the premiums.

“Without making the change, we would have had to lay off an employee as of June 1.” DeLauder said. “Although deductibles will increase.”

Council felt it was best for the town and the employees and voted unanimously for the change.

Discussion was also held concerning a parking problem on Dodd Street in front of the Tyler County Museum. DeLauder said there has been a couple accidents because it is hard to see when people are exiting the roadway leading into the board of education office. He recommended changing parking to the other side of the street. Councilman Dave Myers said he would rather eliminate some spaces than change the parking.

Councilman Bill Jenkins was in agreement, he said there are more driveways on the other side and he would rather see it stay on the museum side. Council agreed to eliminate 60 foot of parking from the entrance to the board office towards the museum. Attorney Gary Rymer was directed to draft an ordinance to that effect.

DeLauder, reported on meeting with the USDA’s Virginia McDonald and Alan Harris and Tim Meeks from the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council on Friday, May 8, to discuss status of the towns water project.

According to DeLauder after having already filed the grant application but the USDA has informed the town the application cannot be approved if the construction of a new city complex is included in the application. He said they would now have to eliminate anything that would include repairs or construction and refile the grant application. That would eliminate over $300,000 from the original grant request of $2.8 million.

DeLauder said, there is however money out there that is specifically earmarked for city facilities. He believes it would be in the best interest of the town to establish a building commission to apply for and handle the construction and funds. The town is in desperate need of a new town hall and DeLauder said if property would become available, he would much rather spend $150,000 than build a new place.

Councilwoman Sue Peliken, stated she believes the Middle Island Health Clinic will be closing its doors as of June 1. She said, Wetzel County Hospital will be leaving and that may be an acceptable place to move if it becomes available. Discussion was than held as to holds ownership of the property. According to Peliken she believes the county commission is the owner.

DeLauder said he has spent numerous hours looking at FEMA information concerning damage caused by the March storms. Flood waters eroded a portion of the bank near the creek causing a water line to break. He said there have been two separate meetings with FEMA to discuss this emergency and it is believed the town should get the cost of repair returned to us.

“I anticipate the cost of restoration being in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $25,000. This would assure the safety of the the water line for a few years.” He said.

DeLauder said the stream bank that was washed out will be restored to it’s original area as soon as we get estimates from three contractors.

Interviews were conducted on April 27, for a new director of parks and recreation. Six individuals had applied and the town will soon be hiring one applicant from those interviews.

DeLauder also mentioned attending a meeting of municipal officials. He said it was a time to meet with other communities and share ideas for bettering the area. One major concern that was raised is the dilapidated properties in the communities.

It was mentioned there will be a public meeting at 7 p.m. on May 19, in the City Building, for the purpose of submitting a proposal to the USDA.

The next council meeting will be held on Monday, June 8 at 7 p.m. in the city building in Middlebourne.