Commissioners discuss healthcare

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Clay County Commissioners approved quote information and specifications on roadwork to be done on Pinckley Street and defined seasonal and part-time county employees' hours at a special meeting Wednesday.

Under the Affordable Care Act, a county employee working 30 hours or more must be offered health insurance from their employer.

The commissioners approved the definition of a part-time employee in Clay County as an individual working "an average of no more than 28 hours per week." Additionally, a seasonal employee will work less than 120 days with a minimum of six months between work periods. The 28-hour workweek model does not apply to seasonal employees.

The commissioners set the measurement period to determine whether a county employee working part-time or seasonally will be eligible for health insurance as mandated under the new law to go into effect June 15, 2013 to Dec. 15, 2013.

Clay County Commissioner President Paul Sinders said it is up to every department to accurately record each employee's hours. Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said the auditor's office will oversee the logging of the hours with department heads turning in their hours either on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to the auditor's office.

Between Dec.1-31, the county will begin offering health insurance to those who qualify under the new law. Alumbaugh said records will be kept documenting that the employee was offered health insurance and whether he/she decided to accept or reject the offer. Health insurance coverage will then go into effect Jan 1, 2014 and then on July 1 each year after.

"[There can be] no exceptions," Sinders said.

Later, the commissioners approved the quotes and specifications for work to be done on Pinckley Street. Clay County Commissioner Vice President Tony Fenwick said the commissioners will be getting quotes to black top the portion of Pinckley Street from Murphy Avenue to Harmony Road.

"[Pinckley Street] is a very heavily traveled road," Fenwick said "Parts need to be fixed to avoid more problems in the future."

He added that the money to fix the road will come from the recent funds appropriated from the Wheel Tax. The commissioners are looking at spending between $100,000 and $118, 000 to complete the project.

The commissioners will open quotes at the July 1 meeting at 9:30 a.m.

Jim Coffenberry, an economic development specialist with West Central Indiana Economic Development District, Inc., will submit the bid for the grant on behalf of the county. The commissioners approved the application for a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency Brownsfield Coalition Program to assist with the cleaning up of a number of properties where there is suspected petroleum and/or hazardous materials. Coffenberry recommended the county's application be part of a coalition of West Central, the City of Brazil and the Commissioners for $400,000. The application is due in the fall.

Coffenberry said besides Vermillion County, there are more sites in Clay County that can benefit from the grant than in any of the others that are within the coalition. If the grant is approved it will help the county by allowing the coalition to clean up different properties that may have gas tanks or other hazards. By doing this, opportunities will arise for the repurposing of that land for redevelopment. Additionally, there is no required match for the grant. He added Clinton has moved forward with an $8 million housing project because of this program.

"This is a no-lose for Clay County," Tony said. "We don't get [the grant] we lose no money. We do get it, we get some places cleaned up."

In other meeting news:

*The commissioners approved a request from the Clay County Community Corrections Department to change office hours on Thursdays to 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon,

*The commissioners approved ordinance No. 8. The ordinance, known as the Local Disaster Emergency Declaration Ordinance of Clay County, will restrict travel on all roads and highways under the Clay County Highway Department in times of weather emergencies. Those found violating the travel restriction will be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,500,

*An emergency plan to handle debris following a disaster was tabled by the commissioners for further clarification. The plan presented by Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband will examine protocols that need to be taken in the event of a disaster in regards to relocating and disposing of debris, and

*The commissioners approved the request to apply for two grants by Husband. The first will give the Clay County Emergency Management Department the capability to continue operations by creating a mirror computer storage in case systems at the jailhouse or courthouse go offline. Additionally, the commissioners approved a request for a district grant of $150,000 towards school safety for all eight counties in the district and $250,000 to furnish training for not just law enforcement, but teachers as well for emergency situations.

The Clay County Commissioners meet the first Monday of each month at 10 a.m. in the Clay County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend.

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