Workers’ comp changes reaping benefits

Published 10:37 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Making officeholders take responsibility for their employees is paying back big dividends for the county.

That’s what the Lawrence County Commissioners recently learned about the merit system instituted for workers’ compensation claims.

It now has translated into a premium reduction for next year of $228,101 from CompManagement or a premium of $418,302 for 2011.

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That compares to a premium of $646,403 for 2010.

Those figures were announced during the commissioner’s regularly scheduled Thursday meeting.

Since 2008 if an officeholder has had a claim, it has come out of that budget, instead of the general fund.

“Accountability is a great motivator,” Commissioner Jason Stephens said.

The system was phased in gradually with claims taking 100 percent of an officeholder’s budget starting this year.

Because of that good performance CompManagement also estimates the county will get a 15 percent premium refund.

“When we do these things, it has a positive impact down the road,” Stephens said.

The commissioners also approved and signed the renewal of the $2 million hospital bond anticipation note. However, the St.Mary’s-CAO venture to bring an emergency room to the county has already made a $152,000 payment on the loan in anticipation of taking it over completely in the future.

In other business the commission

• Approved the weekly dog warden’s report where 47 dogs were destroyed, four were sold and one was redeemed. Currently there are 80 dogs at the shelter.

• Approved the retirement of Paula Bentley from the Department of Job and Family Services.

• Received correspondence from the county engineer on establishing Private Road 2560 County Road 5 in Lawrence Township and Private Road 1270, Shelby Lane in Rome Township.