2009-04-16 / Local & State

Borough Workers' Compensation Premiums Lower

Council approves several street, zoning requests

McConnellsburg Borough Council heard some good news regarding workers' compensation expenses, received an update on a Military Vehicle Preservation Association convoy and discussed several requests during its regular meeting last week.

Borough secretary Jack Fields told council members that a former workers' compensation insurance carrier has agreed to insure the borough once again and for a premium less than the premium being offered by the state fund. The carrier, EMC, has offered the borough an annual rate of $35,914. The current rate offered by the state fund is $42,760.

According to Fields, the borough, by going with the lower offer, will realize a savings of nearly $7,000. For the past several years, the borough has been forced to purchase insurance from the state fund because it was "dropped" by the carrier for excessive claims. The borough carries the workers' compensation policy for the borough and for a share of the McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. Fields noted that claims for the borough and the fire company have decreased in recent years, allowing the borough to again be covered by the private carrier at a cheaper rate.

Fields also reported that the Military Vehicle Preservation Association's convoy will pass through downtown Mc- Connellsburg on Sunday, June 14, 2009, at 10 a.m. The convoy is a re-creation of the 1919 trip across the country of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy and marks the 90th anniversary of the first convoy, which included a young Dwight Eisenhower.

The convoy will follow the original route as closely as possible, i.e. the Lincoln Highway. The route crosses all or part of 11 states from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, joining the Lincoln Highway at Gettysburg. The route is nearly 3,300 miles. The convoy will travel approximately 26 days across the country, with varying distances each day depending upon the terrain and services available, and will have rest/repair days built into the schedule. The convoy includes vehicles traveling the entire length of the original route, and those that are joining for a specific time frame, a specific distance or region of the route. They may travel for a day, several days or several hundred miles. Organizers are hopeful that citizens will line the convoy route to observe the military equipment as it passes.

Council met with Commissioner David Hoover II to discuss the county's plan to make improvements to the West Spruce Street alley which runs past the county jail and connects with the North First Avenue alley. Hoover told council members that the county wants to straighten the alley and blacktop the parking lot. He said plans will include proper management of stormwater runoff from the lot. Hoover also said the county will then maintain the alley along with the parking lot in terms of snowplowing, maintenance, etc. It is expected that final plans will be submitted to the borough for approval prior to the beginning of the project.

Council approved subdividing a parcel of land into three separate deeds for a South First Street resident. Council also approved the placement of a double wide mobile home on Myers Avenue to replace a single mobile home already existing on the lot.

Council also approved two requests for street closings. A request from the Chamber of Commerce to close West Market Street from the square west to the alley during the Strawberry Festival on June 12 and 13 was approved. A request from Todd Alexander to close East Market Street from the square to the alley for a business picnic on June 29 was also approved.

During other business, council approved payment of two loads of anti-skid using liquid fuel funds at the cost of $1,088.75. Council also gave permission to the local Girl Scout Troop to decorate the light poles for Memorial Day. The troop was given permission to do this every year without getting permission annually.

Fields was also given permission to have the former borough police offices painted and refurbished and the borough office will then be moved from upstairs into the downstairs offices.

Also during other business, Fields announced the street sweeper will be sweeping all side streets on April 22 and citizens are reminded to move their vehicles from the streets.

A brief discussion was held on the possible employment of a meter maid but no action was taken. Fields reported that meter income continues to nearly match that of the income received prior to the disbandment of the police force. He said meter revenues were actually about $30 more than the same month last year.

Regular business

During regular business, council approved payment of bills in the amount of $12,622.13. Receipts for the same period were $13,591.12. Checks were written for $14,001.25, leaving an April 1 balance of $34,022.57.

Council members present were Rick Buterbaugh, Travis Bard, Mike Chilcote, Lee Rager, Pat Frazier, Jim Smith, Mack Shaffer and Mayor Jim Stenger.

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