By ROB W. ANDERSON
Employee health benefits and water department equipment were discussed and approved during Friday’s regular Tahlequah Public Works Authority Board meeting.
Employee health and life insurance policies held with Blue Cross Blue Shield and MetLife were renewed. Insurance company representative Chuck Payne informed the board the health plan received a 2 percent cost reduction this year, and the new premium on a $5,000 health care reimbursement plan will go from $334.55 to $327.83 a month, with an annual employee reimbursement of $4,000.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield has been the best fit for the employees,” he said. “Especially in this area. They have the best network of providers, as far as access.”
The addition of long-term disability coverage, which would cover 60 percent of the employees salary if unable to work, with MetLife was also given approval.
The purchase of 2013 three-quarter ton 4x4 crew crab service truck, which would be equipped for natural gas, at a price of $43,950 for the Water Distribution Department was approved on a 3-2 vote, with TPWA Board Chair Kelly Ross and board member Herb Rozell voting against the item. At issue was the cost-effectiveness of the vehicle being equipped with a CNG conversion kit versus a gasoline-powered engine, as the purchase price was said to be $1,700 more than what had been set aside for the vehicle.