mercies have been costing the Chesterton Street Department a lot, so much so
that it’s likely the impact of this winter on the 2014 budget will be felt
well into the next one.
At the Town
Council’s meeting Monday night, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg
requested, and got, $30,000 in CEDIT funds for the purchase of additional
road salt. Members voted 4-0 to grant that request. Member Nick Walding,
R-3rd, was not in attendance.
“As you can
imagine, it’s been a pretty busy month,” Schnadenberg said. He added that,
historically, February has been the “heaviest month for lake-effect snow,”
so conceivably things are only going to get busier.
In any case, the
salt storage facility “is pretty empty now,” Schnadenberg noted, and were it
not for the fact that the Street Department still had “quite a bit of salt
at the start of the season”--left over from last season--“we’d be out of
salt right now.”
Salt is “something
you gotta have,” agreed Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd.
“There are some
municipalities that have no salt at all,” added Member Jim Ton, R-1st.
projected the possibility that, somewhere down the line this year, “we may
find ourselves in an issue with overtime” as well as with fuel.
In other business,
members voted 4-0 to approve Police Chief Dave Cincoski request for an
expenditure of just more than $112,000 from the Cumulative Capital
Development fund, for the purchase of three new squad cars.
The best quote for
the Ford Explorer was made by Lakeshore Ford, at $38,000, which includes the
cost of equipping it, Cincoski said.
Although the Dodge
Chargers price out at around $3,000 less than the Ford Explorers, over the
lifetime of the squad the Explorer saves between $5,000 and $7,000 in fuel,
compared to the Charger’s gas mileage, Cincoski observed.
He also reported
that the CPD current Explorers have received “tremendously high marks” from
officers during the recent snow events.
Affordable Care Act
town’s insurance agent, Mike Anton of Anton Insurance Agency, announced that
the town’s current arrangement with the Franciscan Alliance (FA) is
non-compliant under the Affordable Care Act, and that in order to maintain
eligibility for employees’ newly enacted health savings accounts, the town
must either terminate its program with FA or assess a per-visit fee.
Under the current
arrangement, the town paid a monthly access fee of $3,000. Under a new
arrangement recommended by Anton, that monthly fee would be discontinued and
replaced with a per-visit charge of $75, $10 of which the employee would
accordingly voted 4-0 to approve the new arrangement.
“As you are likely
aware,” Anton remarked, “the Affordable Care Act has had a rippling effect
on all aspects of employee benefits.”
Members also voted
4-0 to appoint Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela to the Tax Abatement