Unit 40 Antes Up for Insurance Costs

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Published on June 25 2013 1:49 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham Unit 40 schools approved a hefty increase in insurance premiums for the coming fiscal year at Monday night's meeting.

Property/casualty insurance coverage will cost 38% more than last year, an increase of more than $50,000. 

Unit 40 Superintendent Mark Doan said the $182,000 price tag for coverage is due to bad loss experience.  The bulk of the claims, though, are due to what are termed Acts of God, such as damage to the roof at Central due to high winds, the roof at Effingham High School and water damage at the Early Learning Center.

Jeff Weis of Weis Insurance agreed, saying, "I don't think the District could've done anything differently to prevent these claims."

As to whether the District should've taken bids for coverage, Doan said claims indicated the bids would not have been favorable...others who have sought bids have been dropped by their existing carrier...and coverage is typically bid after every three years, where Unit 40 has only been with its existing carrier for two years.

The Board also authorized the execution of a contract for catastrophic insurance coverage, if the governor signs pending legislation requiring such coverage, and approved an amended budget for the fiscal year ending June 30.  The amended budget includes a $900,000 deficit in the Education Fund.

Board members awarded bids for various commodities...passed the prevailing wage resolution for contracted work despite the same grumbles heard every year and a couple of No votes...approved a $5 increase in the health services fee to cover a similar increase okayed by the County...and finalized an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Effingham with $100,000 coming from the City to Unit 40 in TIF dollars to help with the costs of vocational training.

The Board also reduced the hours of bus drivers Denise Willenborg, Tammy Birch, Rhonda Tweedle, Donna Niemann, Diane Claar and Sue Kinkelaar.  Resignations were accepted from junior high Special Education teacher Stephanie Fox and from high school PE and Health teacher Jill Kistner.

A negotiating committee meeting is set for July 2 at 4pm.