Trustees investigate insurance options


BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath Township Board of Trustees are continuing their search for affordable insurance coverage and examined a property and liability insurance program proposal that was presented to them during the Aug. 2 township meeting.

Craig Hibner, account representative at Burnham and Flower Insurance Group, submitted the proposed package plan to the trustees and discussed the benefits of joining the Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority (OTARMA).

Hibner explained that OTARMA is a self-insurance pool endorsed by the Ohio Township Association. The pool was formed in 1987 for the primary purpose of providing townships throughout the state with an alternative to traditional property and liability insurance. He noted that OTARMA currently insures eight of the 12 townships in Greene County and 1,000 of the 1,308 townships in the State of Ohio.

“OTARMA has maintained a 99 percent retention of membership because members find no reason to leave,” Hibner said. “OTARMA keeps members insulated from fluctuations in the market, allowing the townships to budget from year to year.”

Hibner compared the annual cost of the proposed 2017 OTARMA insurance package with the 2016 Ohio Plan, a property and liability insurance plan that township trustees approved in August 2016. He noted that OTARMA provides a significant annual premium savings of $2,134, as well as a proven 30-year rate stability and an approximate capital distribution of $1,452.

“With OTARMA, the township becomes a vested member in the program. Any savings or surplus OTARMA is able to experience benefits the members,” Hibner said. “Since 2007, OTARMA has given over $15 million back to members.”

For the past five years, OTARMA has also provided members with the MORE (Managing Ohio Risk Exposures) Grant Program that reimburses each township, who is a member, up to $500 per year for expenses associated with safety, education, training, and risk management. Hibner said the grant monies are used for a number of items, including registration fees for the Ohio Township Association Annual Conference, security cameras, road signs, tree removal, as well as reflective coats, vests and gloves.

Hibner also compared the amount of coverage OTARMA provides annually with the coverage the township is currently receiving under the Ohio Plan. He pointed out that OTARMA provided considerable more coverage when comparing general liability, employers’ liability, and public officials’ liability coverage.

“OTARMA has a very good setup, and you have the ability to work with a local insurance agency of your choosing,” Hibner said. “I feel there are a lot of benefits to this coverage.”

Township Trustee John Martin thanked Hibner for paying a visit to the township and providing the trustees with the basic information about the program. He said the trustees would also talk with a representative from the Ohio Plan before making a final decision about a property and liability insurance program.

In a 2-0 vote, the township trustees approved the authorization for King Agency to act as the township’s agent in obtaining a proposal from Jefferson Health Plan. Martin noted that the trustees are continuing their search for viable healthcare coverage for township employees.

The township entered into a contract with the Ohio Public Entity Consortium Healthcare Cooperative OPEC-HC three years ago. However, fiscal mismanagement at OPEC-HC has led to a multi-million dollar deficit. Township trustees informed OPEC-HC in June that the township would be withdrawing from the healthcare consortium when its contract expires at the end of the year. The township has until Sept. 1 to reconsider renewing its contract with OPEC-HC. Currently, OPEC-HC is offering a renewal rate with a 7 percent increase over the 2017 contributions. In addition, the member agreement term will be a one-year commitment rather than three years.

“The trustees need to make a decision by the end of the month if we are going to stay with OPEC,” Martin said. “We have to move pretty fast on this.”

Fog seal treatment

In other business, Township Road Supervisor Vern Heizer reported to trustees that Miller-Mason Paving Company would soon be applying a fog seal application to 15 township roads that recently received a chip seal asphalt surface treatment. Heizer noted that the roadwork would be delayed on Valleyview Drive and Dogwood Circle until utility work is completed.

Heizer told trustees that the asphalt emulsion, which will cost the township $10,000, will extend the life of the township roads by securing and locking into place the over stone from the chip seal process. He noted that the fog seal also helps prevent water infiltration and produces a black surface, which many residents like.

The township trustees also approved a request by a coach with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to allow a youth soccer team to use the soccer field in the township park during the fall soccer season.

The Bath Township Board of Trustees will meet again in regular session 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the township office, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.

By Linda Collins

For the Fairborn Herald

Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.

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