Ralpho Twp. to remain with insurer
ELYSBURG - Ralpho Township supervisors entertained proposals for new insurance providers, but will stick with their current setup.
Proposals from current broker DGK Insurance, Factoryville, which works with EMC Insurance, and Weiss-Schantz Agency (WSA), Hellertown, were the only ones received. They were discussed at the supervisors' meeting Tuesday night.
William Pilconis, representative from WSA, said his firm couldn't compete with the price the township is paying currently.
Supervisors voted unanimously to remain with DGK.
However, the cost of its package policy (including property and liability insurance) will go up $1,022 to $28,244 in March.
Act 46, a state law enacted in 2011 to financially help firefighters who become ill with cancer, in part will cause an increase for the township's workers compensation insurance as well. The cost is based on wages paid during the year, so it varies, but the quoted price for renewal from DGK is $32,281, which is $3,377 more than last year, said township manager Joseph Springer.
At a hearing last fall, state lawmakers said they are receiving reports that some insurance companies are dropping workers' compensation coverage for volunteer firefighters as a result of the law, which guarantees benefits to those who meet specific criteria.
Insurers were told few worker compensation claims would be made under the terms of Act 46, but there has been an explosion of claims. One expert told lawmakers the law should be rewritten to reduce the types of cancer eligible for claims and give municipalities more control over volunteer fire companies.
Bucket truck purchase
In other business, a motion was passed to buy a bucket truck costing $13,900 for purposes of cutting down trees and changing street lights.
Also, the township further discussed its use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, for which it became eligible this year. Jamie Shrawder, project coordinator of community development with SEDA-Council of Governments, was present at the meeting to address some administrative matters for the grant.
Three projects to be completed with CDBG money are storm-channel improvements in Elysburg, assistance to homeowners who need their sewer laterals replaced and qualify under the income guidelines and demolition of a blighted property.