During the November Desloge Board of Aldermen meeting, one of the main topics discussed was a change in the health insurance that the city offers for its employees.
Previously the city has used BAS health care to provide insurance for the city’s employees. For 2020, the city signed a contract with MIRMA Health Care.
City Administrator Dan Bryan explained that MIRMA Health Care is a health group for municipalities that is currently made up of 18 cities (including Desloge).
“In the beginning, being a part of MIRMA was one of those calculated risks,” said Bryan.
The executive director of MIRMA Health Care spoke to the board about the new health care plans offered to the city and delivered the news that there will be a 15% increase in cost for insurance.
Several city employees were in the audience and were allowed to ask questions to the board and to the executive director.
Bryan communicated to the board that he needed a decision that night on which plans to offer to the city’s employees.
At the end of the discussion, a motion was made by Alderman David Shaw, Ward 1, to accept three of the plans that MIRMA offers with the city paying a percentage of the costs, and the employees will be able to choose from the accepted plans.
All present board members were in favor of this motion except for Alderman Alvin Sutton, Ward 3.
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During a follow-up phone call, Bryan said that Desloge is great place to work. The city has had some of the same employees for 30 years and that they are trying to do whatever they can to keep it that way.
“It is tough because insurance continues to go up, and you have to figure out where the money will come from to pay for it,” said Bryan. “Right now, my goal is to get the numbers to be the smallest burden for the employees of the city. We are just trying to figure out what to do.”
“Our biggest concern is keeping the cost for our employees low because we want this to continue to be a great place to work.”
Bryan also stated that he is working on putting together a special meeting to further discuss the insurance topic.
Before the health care discussion, Mayor David Kater introduced three new city employees: Animal Control and Code Enforcement Officer Stephanie Memhardt, Police Officer Jon Erik Bradford and Laborer Justin Rumping.
Following the introduction of the new city employees, two ordinances were passed unanimously.
One of the ordinances passed was for the closing of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district which has been discussed at past meetings.
During public comments, two citizens of Desloge expressed concerns for their households because of a neighboring dog that, according to the citizens, has been aggressive and coming onto their properties. The board agreed to look into the matter further to see what can be done for the benefit of both parties involved.
Other matters on the table during the meeting included a bid for turnout gear for the fire department which was approved, the resolution for a change in the job description for customer service technician was adopted, and the continued discussion on what to do with abandoned and vacant structures.