December 12, 2019

West Branch City Council face massive hike in health insurance rates

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The West Branch City Council met Monday for a regularly scheduled meeting. Council members present were Mike Jackson, Cathy Zimmerman, Ellen Pugh, Chris Powley and Joanne Bennett along with Mayor Paul Frechette, City Manager Frank E. Goodroe and City Clerk and Treasurer John Dantzer. Dan Weiler was excused for personal reasons.

After the meeting was called to order, the council members were presented with the 2019 audit results by Cynthia Scott, CPA. Overall, Scott said the city was in good shape and offered a few financial recommendations moving forward that the council could consider.

There were several big changes mandated by the federal government that the council will have to comply with as far as how funds are classified and how they are used, including compliance with GASB88 that affected 2019 and GASB84 for 2020. Essentially, this creates a new level of accountability for all fiduciary activities of the council.

Under the new business portion of the meeting, a contract between the city and Yvonne DeRoso to sell city-owned land was approved. The contract included a one-year listing for a 5% commission.

A special event permit was approved for the Right to Life March for Life, scheduled for Saturday, January 25, 2020.

A motion to pay the city bills in the amount of approximately $247,000 was approved.

The council also approved a Water Bond Refinancing motion, which will significantly lower their current interest rate.

There will be a city employee appreciation dinner at the Willow Tree restaurant on Dec 6.

The council members were taken aback to hear that the city's health insurance rate will rise 23% on January 1,2020. There was a brief discussion about opening up for bids or shopping around for alternative insurance companies.

City council meetings are open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

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