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Insurance proposal not likely to help county, commissioners say

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Nov. 28, 2022) -- An insurance representative's proposal to the Pulaski County Commission isn't likely to help the county, several commissioners said during a Monday morning meeting with insurance representative Charles Galen Floyd of Group Benefit Services, Inc.

Floyd said his company manages partially self-funded plans.

"Has there been any thoughts of exploring options this year?" Floyd asked. "Your insurance renews in February according to my records."

Deputy Clerk Whitney Medlen said due to the large number of military personnel in the area who use military health insurance, there are only a little more than a hundred people using the county's insurance plan.

Responding to questions from Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk, Floyd gave a list of counties participating in his company's plan. None are in the immediate area. Western District Commissioner Clinton Jarrett asked where the closest clinics are; Floyd said the closest clinics qualifying for the company's reduced rate are in Rolla and at the Lake of the Ozarks.

"I don't see families driving an hour to go to an emergency care clinic, especially when we have three clinics right here," said County Treasurer Sue Rapone.

"I just don't feel we're a big enough metropolis with enough stuff here to make this work," Jarrett said. "Our employees who are members here, too much change is not good for them."

Eastern District Commissioner Charles Bassett concurred.

"I heard a person once say, 'The only person who wants change is a baby, and they cry a lot the whole time you do it,'" Bassett said.

In other business:

* Rapone presented a spreadsheet on progress with ARPA funding; the commissioners will hold an ARPA committee meeting on Thursday. "I know people are waiting but we have other work to do, too," Newkirk said.

* Leroy Vanderhoof, a resident of Shalom Mountain, came to the commission to address problems with his road; commissioners informed him the road is still a private road built and maintained by the subdivision developer Doug Tillett, not the county. "Don't they have a HOA up there?" asked Bassett. "Yes, but he's the head of it," Vanderhoof said. "Isn't that a bit of a conflict of interest?"

* Laura Huffman, representing the Devils Elbow Heritage Foundation, said the lights were turned on Saturday on The Devils Elbow Bridge on the Big Piney River. Jarrett asked if the Pulaski County USA, Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center is promoting the Devil's Elbow Bridge; Huffman said it had done so in the past.

* Commissioners went into closed session with County Attorney Kevin Hillman for legal matters.


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