OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
August 26, 2013
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 1:03 pm at the town office. Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards, Earl Holtz, and Lewis Sumner. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Phyllis Evanuk, Charlene Martynowski, Christina Moore, Patty Dow, Larry Smith, and Brad Rafus.
Hearing of Visitors
Rafus reported that Green River Road paving will be completed Wednesday 8/28/13.
Moore reported that she drafted a letter of appeal for the Deer Park bridge project. The cost of the lengthening of the bridge was denied by FEMA based on their policy. The basis of the appeal is that the mitigation meets the requirements of the Stafford Act section 406 (PL 93-288). The value of the appeal is approximately $18k.
Moore expressed thanks for the police support at the bike race this past Saturday. She estimates there were at least 1000 participants.
Holtz reported that Charlene Martynowski has expressed interest in the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment positions. Edwards asked that she submit a letter of interest noting her qualifications as they had asked other candidates to do the same.
Holtz reported that he will be meeting with Paul Taylor to discuss the tree warden position.
VLCT Presentation on Health Insurance
Larry Smith arrived from VLCT to explain the upcoming Health Benefit Exchange and changes to employer provided health insurance.
His presentation is attached.
By October 1, 2013 the town will need to set up their account and decide how much to fund. In November, the employees will be able to choose their plan. Employees will have until 12/15/13, but he recommends they sign up by 12/1/13. Coverage will be effective 1/1/14.
Smith reviewed the plan levels. Currently there are two carriers MVP or BCBS. Towns can limit the carrier or allow full range to purchase any plan. If an employee wants to enroll in a higher level insurance plan (greater that what is paid for by the town), they can, but the difference will be reimbursed by the employee via a paycheck deduction. If the employee choses a lower level plan, there is no refund coming back to the employee.
Smith noted that the provider networks are different between BCBS and MVP. BCBS is nationwide, while MVP is regional (NY, VT, NH). If you choose a provider out of network, there is no coverage. All plans offer pediatric dental and vision up to 21 years of age.
The group discussed HRA’s. It was noted that BCBS has partnered with Health Equity and administration fees for HRA’s by Health Equity are included in their premiums. If you have an HRA with MVP, admin costs will be billed in addition to the premium. The group discussed the 2003 article that was passed which noted the town will pay for the town clerk’s benefits. As the town clerk is also the treasurer, there was question whether health benefits need to be offered. Smith advised that Edwards should contact the municipal assistance center.
Smith noted that by 2017, Vermont intends to have a single payer in place. Smith discouraged the employer from helping employees choose a plan. Instead, they should use the call center or have a qualified navigator assist them.
There will be a meeting September 24 at 7:00pm at the town office to explain benefits to the employees and spouses.
Review of Highway Orders
The highway orders were reviewed and signed.
Holtz prepared a spreadsheet of highway department overtime hours between 2006 and 2012 to be used in the formulation of wage adjustments if they were to go to a 40 hours week. The Selectboard will review.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:23 pm.