Posted: Thursday, March 21st 2013 at 10:30pm
FBCC approves money saving health insurance
By Jerry Gunn Staff
FLOWERY BRANCH - Beginning next month, Flowery Branch city employees go under a new health insurance plan; Mayor Mike Miller says it’s going to save both the city and the employees money.
Under the old plan from Consumer’s Life, city insurance cost was going up 24 percent. Under the new plan approved by City Council, also from Consumer’s, the city saves just over $98,000 if no one goes over their deductable.
“The new plan would be a savings to the city,” Mayor Miller said. “Moving forward, hopefully it will be a savings to the employee also.”
The city’s cost was going to $245,301, up from $197,522 but under the new plan the annual cost is $146,614. Employees would pay a $500 deductable for medical care and medicine, and that’s all; the city picks up the rest of the total $5,000 deductable, according to city finance Director Jeremy Perry. Flowery Branch has 35 employees eligible for the plan.
“We’ve seen some good employees leaving for other cities because of insurance policies,” Miller added. “We have a competitive pay rate, but our insurance rates were higher. We’re trying to retain good employees and keep them from leaving and going to better insurance plans with other cities."
STORM WATER CULVERTS TOO SMALL
City Council members called on Pond Company engineers from Norcross to give them a time line and cost estimates after learning that four major storm water culverts along Flower Branch Creek that runs through the city were too small to withstand a 100 year flood event.
Those culverts are under Cantrell Road, East Main Street, Phil Niekro Boulevard, Mulberry Street and Spring Street. Pond Engineers redesigned the Spring Street Culvert to meet 100-year rainfall flows after it collapsed in 2010. City Manager Bill Andrew said that culvert replacement could be a million dollar project.
“We’ve asked Pond Engineering to go back and take a look at our concerns for the ponding effect, the reservoir effect and what could happen with culverts damming up water," Andrew said.
Andrew added two streets lead to neighborhoods that would be cut off if a culvert failed. The city's capital improvement plan budget includes just over $400,000 for culvert replacement and there may be loan possibilities.
“It could be that we could work on a loan structure that would enable us to go ahead and start the project and finish it within one year,” Andrew said.
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