Monroe e-squad vehicles needed

WOODSFIELD – The purchase of two emergency squad vehicles is being eyed in Monroe County where the county commissioners also took action Monday to increase the percentage paid by the county for employees’ health insurance.

Dave Kuhn of the Monroe County Emergency Medical Services Association reported the need to buy two new vehicles, one for Woodsfield and the other for Beallsville.

Also representing the association was Terri Knowlton who gave an update on October activities.

Commissioners were told that the association has obtained a quotation for financing for two vehicles from one local bank. The commissioners asked them to obtain quotes from the other two local banks and to return with the information.

A motion to accept the proposed rate increases for insurance from the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley and to pay 80 percent of the cost for employees’ health insurance was approved. Previously, the county had paid 75 percent of the cost.

The rate increases are 12 percent for the PPO and 16 percent for the HMO. Commissioners had discussed the insurance costs in at least three meetings.

At the request of Jeanette Harter, who heads the Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services, commissioners and Harter went into an executive session in regard to personnel. After the session, commissioners gave approval to moving Kathy Brown from an eligibility referral position in the DJFS to an eligibility referral post, effective immediately.

Mary Jo Westfall, Extension Office associate, presented commissioners with information about the proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Community Development Program.

Monroe County is one of the 79 Ohio counties listed as a county program grantee with required commitments. There also are 51 city program grantees.

According to the information from the Ohio Development Services Agency, it is recommended that once funding allocations are known, that 60 percent of the funding available to the CDP be allocated to the Community Development allocation and 40 percent be allocated to the three competitive programs, Neighborhood Revitalization Program, Downtown Revitalization Program and Critical Infrastructue Investment Program.

Among the CDP’s key features are that administration and fair housing activities will be capped at a total of 20 percent. Previously, administration was capped at 15 percent and fair housing was capped at 5 percent so that the cumulative fair housing and administration expenditures would not exceed 20 percent.

In addition, eligible housing activities will be limited to home repair to reduce duplication of activities funded by the Community Housing Improvement Program.

It also was noted that planning requirements for the competitive programs will be simplified with an increased emphasis on local implementation, targeting and active citizen participation.

Belmont, Harrison and Jefferson counties also are among the county program grantees with required commitments.

In other matters, commissioners approved a motion to close the courthouse Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

The meeting was adjourned so the commissioners could attend a district solid waste management meeting in Caldwell.