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Commission president outlines highlights

The county changing its insurance carrier and adding to its fleet of emergency vehicles were among the highlights of 2013 as Commission President Bill Pratt recapped commission achievements.

Last month the commission chose CEBCO, a consortium that provides benefits to county employees that was started in 2004 by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, for its health insurance coverage.

The county dropped its former carrier, United Health, to choose a three-year commitment with CEBCO.

“We thought this will be a good decision down the road,” Pratt said at the commission’s Thursday meeting, noting that the commission would not have to spend time each year re-negotiating its policy terms.

The commission also in 2013 added five new cruisers for the sheriff’s office bringing the total of new vehicles to 10 of 16 in the fleet or a 62 and a half percent increase over the past three years, Pratt said.

Likewise the county’s Emergency Medical Services received a total of five ambulances out of a fleet of eight, also 62 and a half percent increase.

“We struggled and strived to do well for them,” Pratt said. “Last year we had a real budget fight. There was a shortfall in the road patrol deputies (fund). We were able to work through that. The 911 has continued to consolidate.”

With the addition of upgraded software, the county will save money in operating the 911 system, including taking over the duties of the Ironton Police dispatch that the county is financing 100 percent, the commissioner said. This move has removed duplication of services causing the savings.

In other action the commission:

• Approved the purchase of a dump truck with snowplow for $139,000, a utility truck for $53,000 and a pipe trailer for $10,000 for the county engineer.

• Approved a change order in the amount of $7,136 for county road resurfacing.

• Received the weekly dog warden’s report where 48 dogs were adopted or went to rescue, one dog was destroyed and none were redeemed by their owners. There were 102 dogs in custody that week.