By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Some Williams County departments are going to become acutely aware of the impact of workmen’s compensation claims when they have to pay back some of the cost.
The Williams County Commissioners approved chargebacks by the auditor of department accounts at their April 4 meeting. The hope is the departments will look at the claims and seek ways to limit claims.
The county has an account management firm that looks at the claims and do a 5-year study of any departments that have had claims. The company does a cost calculation and the department does the chargeback or reimbursement.
The county pays the premium out of the general fund, and then the departments reimburse the county. Most county departments do not have claims, with the notable exceptions being Hillside and the Engineering Department.
“It kind of figures into the whole workmen’s comp premium the county pays.” Auditor Julie Beagle said.
The county learned the Northwest Water District will need to purchase liability coverage for its plant to go along with the property policy.
The district will also have to purchase a workmen’s comp policy for its lone worker, agent Russ Davies said.
“We wrote the property only coverage: the water tower, the building, the stuff inside,” Davies told the county commissioners. “We write liability coverage for the county commissioners only.”
This means the county is protected if someone is injured at the site and files a lawsuit. The same applies for Artesian of Pioneer to protect its interests. The gap is from the water district, Davies said.
“You guys let the policy (not through our agency) lapse,” Davies said. “We can help you with that.”
The cost of the property coverage is $1,547, Davies said.
In other actions, the commissioners:
-Approved a professional services agreement with The Mannik and Smith Group for resurfacing and bridge replacement project for county roads 21N, M and M.50. The amount is not to exceed $83,310. The agreement runs through June 30, 2017.
-Approved a contract for professional engineering services with Tetra Tech for a Phase 1 environmental site assessment for the former American Petroleum site at 303 S. Main St. in Bryan. The county will pick up half the $3,500 cost and the city of Bryan the other half.
-Approved a copier service agreement with Current Office Solutions. The agreement calls for the county to pay $110 per month and 1.2 cents per black and white copy after the first 2,500. The rate for color pages after the first 1,000 is 6.9 cents.
James Pruitt may be reached at