During Monday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners, an employee insurance plan for the 2009-10 fiscal year was approved.
While there is an increase in the cost, Commissioner Paul Sinders said the plan remains essentially the same, with a much smaller increase than the average.
"When you average the trend of increases for the cost of medical, prescription drugs and dental coverage for 2009, there is a projected average increase of 9.4 percent," Sinders said. "Effective July 1, Clay County rates will only increase 2 percent, which is remarkable and a compliment to our employees who have coverage under the plan."
Sinders added the deductible, office co-pay and cost for generic drugs will remain the same, along with increased benefits for dental, vision and preventive health care.
"Also effective July 1, Clay County employees will be able to order a 90-day generic prescription at our own local pharmacy for $10," he said. "This is a major and positive change as several did not wish to use the mail order service currently used and preferred to purchase medication from the people we know and see locally."
Sinders also thanked Dunn and Associates Benefit Administrators, Inc., Columbus, Ind., for the hard work they have performed in helping keep the rates as low as possible.
While the county's insurance plan year is from July 1-June 30, deductibles are calculated on a regular calendar basis of Jan. 1-Dec. 31.
Meanwhile, the commissioners also approved the lone bid submitted for a pair of new tri-axle trucks for the Clay County Highway Department.
The bid, which came from Terre Haute Truck Center, was for a total of $213,000 ($106,500 apiece) for two 2008 T800 Kenworth trucks, with a possibility of replacing two of the department's trucks, which each have more than 600,000 miles on them.
"They offered a total of $24,000 in trade-in credit of the two trucks we have, which are 1998 models," Clay County Highway Superintendent Pete Foster said. "Considering the number of miles on them and they shape they are in, that is a pretty good price."
Foster also informed the commissioners the trucks are new and on the lot ready to go with only six miles apiece on them.
The commissioners agreed the best option would be to trade the older trucks in, bringing the total cost to the highway department to $189,000, which Foster said was available in the budget.
In other business during Monday's meeting, the commissioners --
* Approved a grant for the Clay County Sheriff's Department for new bulletproof vests. Chief Deputy Rob Gambill said the department is planning to purchase 12 new vests to replace the current ones, which are five years old, and is the length of the warranty. Gambill added the grant matches the department's contribution to the purchase up to $11,335,
* Accepted a proposal for the trade-in and title transfer of two CCSD vehicles, along with the insurance transfer from the vehicles to a new vehicle and cargo trailer, which have yet to be purchased,
* Tabled a discussion regarding free accidental death coverage offered by Joshua Hogan, a representative for United American Health Insurance, in order to review the options available as the coverage would be free for one year, and $10 a year thereafter, and
* Assisted Clay County 4-H Extension Consumer Family and Science Educator Peggy Davis in a brainstorming session for places to distribute packets of items to benefit individuals who have recently come under financial distress. Davis said the packets, which will be distributed throughout nine counties in southwestern Indiana, contain information on ways to save money more efficiently and how to effectively pay credit card and other debts.
The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners is scheduled for 9 a.m., Monday, July 6, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.