MINSTER – At their Nov. 23 meeting, Minster Council approved a new insurance plan for their employees and heard a proposal for a survey of residents about visions for the future.
Due to a large increase in premium costs the council approved a new health insurance company to provide coverage for village employees.
Village Administrator Don Harrod received approval to enter into a contract with Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance plan, a self-funded medical benefit plan that will only increase premium costs by 4.4% but with a higher deductible. The annual premium that is paid partially by the village (90%) and the employee (10%). as a result an employee under the new plan who has a single coverage would pay $61.31 per month. For an employee that has a family plan, they would pay $188.49 per month. The deductible will go to $5,000 for single person coverage and $10,000 for family coverage.
The village also approved a HRA program that reimburses an employee for part of the deductible. For a single employee that is $2,250 and $4,500 for a family. For someone that has family coverage the annual premium cost is $2,261.88 per year for the employee and $20,353.80 for the village.
Council member Craig Sherman presented to the group a proposed cooperative program between the village and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, to send a survey to all the Minster residents what they think are the issues need to be addressed. There is no cost for the survey because it’s part of their curriculum. Sherman is the chair of the Council Branding committee, which had reviewed and approved the project.
If approved by the council, Sherman said the Branding committee, village administrator and Miami University graduate students will work jointly to formulate and create the survey has reviewed and approved it. There will be no cost to the Village other than postage and paper costs. It is hoped to complete the Minster survey in first half of 2022.
Council approved a resolution authorizing thevillage administrator to enter into a contract with American Municipal Power to participate in the EcoSmart Choice Program. According to the AMP website, the EcoSmart Choice program allows participating municipal electric system customers the option of offsetting up to 100% of their electric usage with renewable resources
Council also discussed the latest speed study for the alley by the Post Office. Harrod said the latest speed study showed that of the 500 vehicles using the alley, only 11% were speeding. Sherman pointed that traffic count would total 25,000 annually. Harrod said they had installed a portable speed bump and would continue to monitor the situation.
Council approved receiving a total of $629,209.40 in income tax income in September 2021 and the October 2021 as submitted by the City of St. Marys. The year-to-date income tax total is $3,733,978.72. October receipts were $ 1,461,984.24 and invoices were $ 173,135.07
In his report to Council, Harrod said leaf pickup continues to occur on a daily basis, weather permitting. He said they did have one issue with the truck that caused the boom to not operate properly. Parts have been ordered for that repair, but in the meantime, they still were using the truck for leaf pickup.
He said village electrical crews, with the assistance of Vaugh Electric, have begun work on setting a steel transmission line pole next to Progress Tool. This pole will allow the village to replace an existing wooden pole and eliminate many guy wires in that area. Work will continue over the next several weeks.
Fire hydrant testing has been completed and repairs to those hydrants that needed it, are occurring. Also, Moody’s Well Drilling will begin testing of well No. 4. Once results from the test are obtained, the village will send them to CDM to be analyzed.
The village has received word from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that they have been awarded $86,097 through the NatureWorks grant program. Earlier this year, the village applied for this funding for improvements to the playground equipment at Paris Street Park.
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, the Minster Parks Department will be welcoming Santa to town. The annual event will begin at noon, with Santa arriving by 12:30 p.m.
Council went into executive session to discuss pending litigation. No decisions were announced when they returned to regular session.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.