News and Tribune

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May 10, 2013

County departments to be billed for insurance

Clark County Commissioners blame council for zeroing out budget



The commissioners will join the council for a potentially contentious joint workshop meeting Monday.

“That meeting is basically to discuss those issues, because one thing, the largest budget, which is the sheriff’s budget, is in the most dire emergency situation in being funded,” Coffman said. “So the meeting is to determine how the county council is going to try to rectify the sheriff’s budget.”

Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden said in a recent interview with the News and Tribune that his department is $2 million short for payroll after budget cuts. He estimated the chances that he will sue the county to force payment of his bills at 60 percent. 



Though Agent of Record Diane Swank pushed for the commissioners to approve a renewal of the county’s health insurance policy through Humana, the commissioners instead elected to recess their meeting while they mull the new policy. 

The commissioners will reconvene on Tuesday at 10 a.m. to discuss how they will mitigate more than $143,000 in additional costs stemming from health coverage. 

Among the measures being considered by the commissioners to reduce the financial impact of the county are increasing monthly costs for current and retired county employees, as well as a “spousal carve-out” policy that would only allow spouses and adult offspring of county employees to participate in the county’s coverage if they have no other coverage available to them. 



The commissioners addressed concerns raised by Borden resident Iyta Bernstein, who said a relative of hers had a frightening experience with a Rural-Metro Ambulance ride last month. 

Rural-Metro voluntarily terminated its contract with Clark County last month after concerns about run times and compliance with county policies were raised by Dr. Kevin Burke with the Clark County Health Department. Yellow Ambulance and New Chapel EMS have begun covering the areas formerly serviced by Rural-Metro. 

“If anything, your service has been improved,” Coffman told Bernstein. 




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