1/22/14 Taylor County Board Dwells On Health Care
The Taylor County Board met Wednesday, January 22nd, with nearly an hour spent on one issue: the amount of money spent annually on Taylor County employee health insurance. Supervisor Raymond Soper presented the background on a resolution which he drafted. Soper told the board that they have addressed wages but not benefits. He indicated that the goal of the resolution was to set a goal of paying the same toward health insurance that other employers in the county pay. Soper said that the county pays 70% more than area employers. He indicated that the county pays $3.7 million yearly for benefits.
Supervisor Lester Lewis rejected Sopers’ comments. Lewis indicated that county employees will pay 5% of their health insurance in 2015 and an additional 5% annually until they reach a 20% threshold in 2018. Supervisor Zenner felt the board is already working on the issue. Supervisor Mildebrand amended the motion to read 4 steps of 5% increases from 2015 through 2018. The amended motion failed by a 9 to 6 vote. Soper’s original resolution also failed by a 9 to 6 vote. Supervisor Mildebrand told the board he felt it took 25 or 30 years for the health insurance issue to evolve and it wouldn’t be “fixed” in one year.
In other county business the board unanimously approved the powerline impact fees to help repair the Jump River community center, the Centennial Community Center and the Medford Swimming Pool renovation.
They authorized the purchase of 40 acres of land which will provide public access to over 700 acres of county owned land. Money for the purchase comes from timber sales on county land.
The 2014 contracts with the county’s professional, non-professional and highway employees were approved.
The compensation plan for elected officials passed on an 11 yes and 4 no vote count.
The 2014 annual report from the Taylor County Health Department was approved.
The last order of business involved IT Committee chairman David Bizer asking the board their opinion of working with an electronic i-pad type device. Bizer showed the group his child’s workpad which cost under $200 and featured many capabilities of a computer. Bizer cautioned the device probably wouldn’t totally eliminate paper or cost less,but it could offer more immediate information. After an informal vote the county board approved pursuing more information on the technology.