Commissioners look at insurance options

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

The Ripley County Commissioners considered employee health insurance options at the regular meeting on Monday, January 25. Edward Culpepper Cooper, vice-president of Maverick Insurance of Batesville, presented a wellness program, which could help to reduce the costs associated with county employee healthcare.

According to Cooper, the wellness program consists of a committee which works to make small, cultural changes to improve quality of life. This would include a program to stop smoking; regular screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease; or encouraging employees to begin an exercise program.

Maverick Insurance serves several counties in Indiana including Decatur County, the city of Jeffersonville and the city of New Albany. The commissioners unanimously approved the request to provide insurance quotes for the county. “We appreciate you allowing us to look at your insurance needs,” said Cooper.

Donna Land, Sunman, returned to request assistance with the problem of an adjoining neighbor creating large piles of dirt against a fence, which marks the property line. Land first brought the issue to the attention of the commissioners at the November 2 meeting.

At that time, the commissioners acting as the drainage board advised Land to file a complaint in the auditor’s office in order for any action to be taken. Since then, the commissioners have been out to the property as well as had the county garage clean a portion of a ditch that was causing ponding to occur on Land’s property.

Land presented other issues which cannot be addressed by the commissioners. She was advised that this was a civil matter. The commissioners assured Land that an employee from the county garage will return to inspect the ditch and clean it if needed.

Ripley County Surveyor Jeff French requested support from the commissioners regarding placing the GIS system online. The cost for initial setup will be $4500 with the annual maintenance fee $3600.

According to French, his office is prepared to pay for the first year’s fees. He will need to approach the county council for permission to include the annual maintenance fee in the budget for the surveyor’s office, which will increase the budget beginning in 2011. The motion to provide support for the project was unanimously approved.

Acting as the county finance board, the commissioners opened the finance meeting with county treasurer Earline Copeland. Copeland reported that several accounts will be closed due to the decrease in interest rates from various banks.

According to Copeland, most of the investments will be kept in the Friendship Bank, which provides a higher interest rate in the checking account. The motion to approve the annual financial report was unanimously approved.

In other business:

• The revised building ordinances and the permit fees were unanimously approved as presented by Ripley County Area Planning Director Tad Brinson.

• The commissioners approved the purchase of a hydraulic heater for the courthouse elevator. Also approved was the purchase of a salt spreader.

• The 2010 salary ordinance for the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department was unanimously approved.
All commissioners were in attendance along with county auditor Bill Wagner and county attorney to advise. The next meeting will be held on Monday, February 8 beginning at 7 a.m. at the county garage in Osgood and reconvening at 8 a.m. at the courthouse annex in Versailles.