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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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Vol.6 No.51 - 7/6/1872
Vol.17 No.2 - 7/15/1882
Courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, N.Y (.PDF files)
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Headlines


Town saves few thousand dollars on health insurance
by Mike Root

The Town Board agreed to save Richfield $3,000 at last Monday’s monthly board meeting and more savings could be on the way. The board members agreed to switch from a two-tier to a three-tier system on their health insurance coverage for town employees, which is renewable Sept. 1.

Under the current two-tier plan, employees have the option of single coverage or family coverage. The new system will allow for those two options plus a third tier for employee and spouse. Richfield Supervisor Nick Palevsky said there are currently two town employees who would be interested in the new two-person coverage.

Mickey Shipway and Don Brown, consultants from National Planning Group Inc., were at the board meeting to explain health savings accounts to the board. Shipway referred to health savings accounts as “the future of health insurance.”

Shipway and Brown explained that health insurance premiums have increased 15-17 percent over the past few years. In a health savings account, an employee can contribute pretax money to an account. An employer can also contribute to that account and any money not used at the end of the year can roll over to the next year.

The Town Board agreed that Shipway and Brown should meet with the town’s employees directly and explain the health savings accounts. Highway Superintendent Mike Kress said the employees were notified of last Monday’s meeting with the consultants, but said it wasn’t until the day of the meeting and some had other obligations.

Palevsky said a health savings account could save the town a significant amount of money. “If everyone covered chose to switch (to a health savings account), we could be looking at a savings of $10,000,” he said. Palevsky also said he wasn’t sure how realistic it would be for everyone to choose a health savings account. “When you’re looking at increases every year, as long as we’re looking at something that promises some relief, we’re partly ahead of the game.”

• In other matters, the Town Board and Planning Board are pursuing an issue concerning some residents on the lake. A couple who owns lake front property was at the meeting and explained to the board that their neighbor built an eight-foot high fence that blocks a significant portion of their view of the lake. The town was previously aware of this, but the residents also complained about a generator on the man’s property.

The residents described it as a “huge commercial generator that is very loud when it kicks on.” They also said their neighbor put the generator as far away from his house as possible, right up against their property line. They estimated they are eight to 10 feet away from the generator.

Palevsky was unsure what could be done about the matter, but agreed it needed to be further pursued. “A lot of these things are in a gray area,” Palevsky said. “For example, we don’t have a height ordinance.”

Palevsky said the man had approached him about resolving the matter. Palevsky advised him to attend the next Planning Board meeting, and told the couple they might also want to attend. Palevsky and Planning Board Chairman Don Urtz then agreed it would be best to have the town’s attorney present at that meeting.

• The garbage issue on Linden Avenue is almost resolved. Three properties on Linden Avenue had piles of garbage that were reportedly infested with rats. One of the residents, Donald Jackson, appeared in court showing receipts for dumpsters he used to dispose of the trash. Palevsky said he and Councilwoman Barbara Peterson went to the residence and verified Jackson had indeed disposed of all the garbage.

Palevsky also said Otsego County Codes Enforcement Officer Dan Wilbur called him and said the county’s attorney is pursuing the case against Denise Stockigt, who apparently still has not cleaned up her property. “It looks like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Palevsky said.

• Legislation for the Canadarago Lake District has failed to pass the state assembly. The senate passed the legislation, but, according to Palevsky, the assembly said it is not necessary.

• The Town Board appointed Rich Lorenzo to a five-year term on the Land Use Board of Appeals.


 


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