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County absorbs
10% hike in insurance
Official says it
puts ‘demands’
on budget

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

Santa Claus delivered an early gift to the employees of Platte County.

Following the recent notice of a 9.9 percent increase to the health insurance rates for employees of Platte County this upcoming year, Mary Robinson, human resource director, announced that the commission will be absorbing the 9.9 percent increase in cost of county employee's health care.

“I know it put a lot of demands on our budget in 2012, but I do think it was a good decision to keep our employees healthy and that needs to be our priority,” said Robinson.

In the last three years there has been a 6.5 percent overall average increase to the cost of health care for Platte County employees, whereas the national average based on a similar demographic is a 12-15 percent annual increase, said Robinson.

Robinson said the county’s relationship with Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a good one. The last increase was a jump of 9.6 percent which occurred from 2009 to 2010. County employees were spared an increase in 2010-2011.

Kevin Robinson, Platte County auditor, confirmed there will be sufficient funds in next year's budget to cover the county’s additional expenditure.

The commission voted unanimously to pass the 2012 Blue Cross Blue Shield rate agreement for county employees.

“I am just glad this decision has been made and we can move forward,” said Dusenbery, first district county commissioner.

Also discussed during Monday's county commission meeting, Captain Erik Holland with the Platte County Sherriff's Department asked to award a contract to fund the replacement of aging and broken light bars on several law enforcement Crown Victorias.

Holland said the amount of the grant is $8,999.77.

“Generally that will fund about six light bars…depending upon what fleet vehicles are purchased and what size lights are needed,” said Holland.

This year will mark the third year the county has received the local law enforcement block grant. The contract requires the county to pay ten percent of the light replacement cost.

Following this year, a good percentage of the light bars in the Crown Victorias will have been replaced, said Holland.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the contract.