April 29, 2014

County increases health insurance rates


County employees may see a little less on their paychecks soon, as magistrates approved an increase in premiums on Thursday morning.

Deputy Judge Executive Rick Brewer presented the information to magistrates during the April monthly meeting of the fiscal court, stating health, dental, and vision plans for all county employees will increase.

“This is the same plan with Humana Health Care but there will be a 12 percent increase in premiums,” Brewer said. “Four percent is due to the Affordable Care Act — or Obamacare — and eight percent is due to higher costs.”

Magistrates approved the measure unanimously with no further comment.

The fiscal court also approved an application from General Dynamics to cash in on some benefits offered at the state level.

“In brief, they hadn’t asked for any incentives, but now they are asking to retain the one-percent occupational tax for 10 years on wages that are here in Laurel County,” Brewer explained.

This action was approved unanimously.

State incentives such as this are offered as a means to entice companies to locate in Kentucky and increase the state’s economy. Several companies have taken the incentive, retaining their share of the one-percent occupational tax and investing it back into the company.

Also approved on Thursday was a Land and Water Conservation Act application that will benefit the county. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 provides money for projects, but limits the grant to half of the proposed total cost of the project, with a maximum of $50,000. Through the resolution approved by magistrates, the county will reserve 50 percent of the grant as a matching fund.

“This is not available until next year,” said David Westerfield, county judge executive, “but we are going ahead and applying. This is an in-kind contribution from the county for half the cost.”

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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