Road work and health insurance topics for county supes

Farmers aren’t the only ones frustrated by the weather.

County engineer Wade Weiss again told the county supervisors Monday that road work is behind, and that the bridge on County Road E-18 east of County Road P-39 in Dawson Township. He said the bridge work is moving “at a snail’s pace” and that no work was done last week. He said the contractor has used 21 percent of its working days and has 22 percent of the project done. Because “working days” aren’t counted when weather prohibits work, in mid-October the contractor still has 51 working days remaining in the contract.

He said patching is being done on County Road P-30, the Squirrel Hollow Road, but patching on southbound P-29 will have to wait until spring.

Weiss also reported that he and Tanner Stauffer had considered sending the county crew out Sunday to treat the roads. The crew is always ready to go by Halloween, “but the snow Sunday caught us a little early,” Weiss said.

The supervisors reviewed a draft of the 28E agreement between the county and the Greene County school district regarding the career academy. Assistant county attorney Thomas Laehn and Keith Pedersen, the school’s attorney, are working on the agreement. Approval will be on the board’s Oct. 29 agenda if the county is to meet the school’s timeline.

Laehn presented and the supervisors approved an open records policy for all departments not under another elected official. Changes to the draft presented a week earlier were to charge for copies only after the first 25, and to specify that any media requested, such as CDs or flash drives, be purchased by the county and paid for by the person requesting the records.

The board heard an abbreviated version of the presentation board insurance committee members heard from Kingston Life & Health about the county’s health insurance.
The county, at the advice of insurance broker Sandy Scheuermann, changed the county’s third party administrator from Wellmark to Cypress Benefit Administrators, with Midlands Choice as the preferred provider organization (PPO). The change was made Jan. 1, 2016.

According to Ryan Berven and Katie Schmit of Kingston, which now represents 24 Iowa counties,  Midlands Choice can’t compete with the discounts on billed charges offered by United Healthcare, the PPO he would recommend. His preliminary numbers show a change of PPO could save the county $240,000 in claims payments.

The supervisors approved naming Kingston Life & Health as the county’s agent of record to allow the company to access all the information needed to renew the county’s health insurance. The renewal date is Jan. 1, 2019.

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