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Kaneland Connection: Elburn adjusts employee health care benefits

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 5:31 a.m. CST

Facing a budget deficit as insurance costs rise, Elburn village officials on Monday night cut back on a benefit offered to village employees to make up the difference.

The village’s finance director, Doug Elder, told trustees at Monday’s Elburn Village Board meeting that, because the Blue Cross premiums were to increase by 16.14 percent, the village would be $7,398 over budget without making an adjustment.

The village pays 100 percent of the premium for village employees and 50 percent of family members, and employees also receive money deposited into a “health savings account.”

The village has been depositing $1,500 into that account each year. To significantly diminish the budget deficit, Elder proposed cutting the village’s contribution to that account to $1,100 each year.

Other possible solutions included going to a higher deductible, paying less of the premium and also perhaps switching to a different plan with fewer benefits.

Elder called the reduction in the “health savings account” to be the most workable.

“The only change would be reducing the village’s contribution to the HSA,” he said.

Village President Dave Anderson called that solution “fair and equitable.”

“We said when the program was established that there was no guarantee about the $1,500,” Anderson said.

Trustee Ken Anderson said that was a reasonable solution because the village already is generous in paying for full coverage.

“I don’t know too many employers that are paying 100 percent,” Ken Anderson said. “That’s the real world now.”

Trash pickup exclusion

A new Elburn resident’s quest to be excluded from services provided by Waste Management was granted at Monday’s meeting, but some village officials said there should be an effort to establish some sort of policy for the future.

Darren Stacy, who recently purchased a foreclosed home on Corrigan Street in the Blackberry Creek subdivision, balked at a past-due bill from Waste Management for $134.40. He said he never established service and had not had any trash to pick up. He said he’d be able to dispose of trash at his workplace and wouldn’t need Waste Management’s service.

Dave Anderson said it was the third time in the past few years that such a request had been made, and for Stacy’s request to be granted, village officials had to write a letter to Waste Management. Trustee Bill Grabarek asked whether that could be a problem if such requests would be allowed for a greater number of residents.

Village Administrator Erin Willret said if that were to happen, it could become an issue with the contract with Waste Management.

Grabarek said he would want officials to create a policy for when building activity might grow in the village. Trustee Ethan Hastert asked whether Willret could see how other municipalities handled such situations.

Dave Anderson said all three requests that had been made in recent years were unique. Trustees unanimously approved Stacy’s request.

“Motion carried,” Dave Anderson said. “We’ll write the letter.”

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at alagattolla@shawmedia.com.

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