Commonwealth Journal

September 24, 2013

Insurance premiums for county will increase by over $65K next year

by Jeff Neal
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — It’s no secret that Pulaski County Government has had to settle several big-money claims and lawsuits over the past couple years.

High-profile lawsuits against the county clerk’s office and county attorney’s office were settled in 2011, and several settlements were paid on Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Molen, who is currently under indictment for three counts of alleged brutality.

After last week’s lawsuit was filed against Pulaski County Jailer Mike Harris and Pulaski Fiscal Court, there’s an indication more dark clouds are on the horizon.

Perhaps with that in mind, magistrates voted yesterday to increase its insurance liability limits from $2 million to $5 million, at a cost of just over $8,000.

Pulaski County will pay a total of $442,264 for liability insurance through One Beacon Insurance for the coming year. That’s up from the $376,915 it paid the same carrier last year.

“Now we can pay five $1 million claims, rather than two $1 million claims,” said county treasurer Joan Isaacs. “After you hit those liability limits, it’s all out of pocket for the county.”

The $442,264 total covers the county’s liability, auto and property. Isaacs pointed out that the county did add more vehicles this year, which also caused a jump in the premium.

The county will also pay One Beacon $157, 968 in worker’s compensation insurance.

“That’s also up slightly over last year,” Isaacs said. “We did add some staff, which would cause the jump.”

In other news from fiscal court:

• Magistrates voted to forgive a portion of a lien against a property on Parkway Court.

New owner Larry Light asked that fiscal court forgive a lien of just over $5,200 that was not cleared after he purchased the piece of property at a Master Commissioner’s sale.

The Pulaski County Solid Waste Department and road crews had to maintain the property for a period of time.

Magistrates voted to waive $3,245.30 of the lien, but Light will still be required to pay $1,971.32 to the solid waste board for their work on the property.

• Magistrates voted to hire two part-time employees at the Pulaski County Detention Center and four part-time workers with the solid waste department.

• Fiscal court set Halloween trick or treating hours for Thursday, Oct. 31, from 6-9 p.m.