Workers’ Comp Snafu Pondered
McConnellsburg Borough Council discussed an unexpected workers’ compensation charge for the McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. and heard a request for financial support from representatives of Great Cove Golf and Recreation Club at its regular meeting last Wednesday evening.
Borough secretary Jack Fields told council members that he was informed that volunteer fire company paid personnel had not been included in the workers’ compensation bill, that coverage was not provided for them, and that an additional $13,114 is owed in order to cover them.
According to Mayor Mike Chilcote, the fire company’s initial reaction was to shut down services provided by the paid personnel, who include medics and EMTs. However, it was decided that rather than go without the critical service, the fire company would make an initial payment of $1,250 to secure coverage, which has been done.
McConnellsburg Borough Council provides workers’ compensation for the company and is then reimbursed on a population basis by the other townships in the fire company’s area of service including Ayr, Todd and a portion of Licking Creek Township. According to Fields, the borough’s portion of the bill equals approximately 20 percent of the total. Both Fields and Chilcote said it came as a total surprise that the personnel were not being covered, because it was believed that coverage for them was being paid.
Council took no action pend- ing more information on how the other affected townships intend to handle the situation.
Council also met with Paul Johnston, Great Cove Golf Club board representative, who discussed the current financial shortfall at the golf course. Johnston presented a budget analysis of the golf course dating back to 2005. He pointed out that the golf course has shown a net loss for each of those years basically due to a decline in membership fees.
Johnston said that it is likely that the board will not be able to open the club’s pool in 2011 due to the fact that they continue to lose money on the pool and the pool needs renovations. Johnston said the directors hate to close the pool since it is the only county facility that offers swimming lessons. They asked the supervisors to consider offering financial support to the club in order for the pool to remain open. He said that 250 youths took swimming lessons there in the past year.
Johnston said and the financial analysis reflects the fact that the club took in about $12,000 last year for pool lessons. He said that basically just pays for the lifeguards’ time, but does not pay for any maintenance on the pool. He said that with the age of the pool, it is going to need to be drained, sealed and painted in order to maintain it in future years. Johnston said the directors have looked at various ways of trying to save money on the pool by considering changing the pool hours from 11-8 to 12-7, and by cutting back on the number of swimming lesson sessions. Johnston said the pool is open 84 days per year.
He reported that he had been to Ayr Township to ask for financial support, but was told that although the golf course is located in Ayr, it is used by other townships in the county. Johnston assured council members that he would also be visiting Todd Township, but he asked that the borough consider making a financial contribution to the golf course so that swimming lessons can again be offered to the community. He added that the shortfall for the lessons is about $5,000.
Following their meeting with Johnston, council members discussed that fact that the golf course is not a non-profit corporation, but rather a not-for-profit corporation. They questioned the legality of giving tax dollars directly to such an entity, but did agree that they could make a contribution directly to the county’s parks and recreation commission if the commission would agree to pass the funds through to the golf course.
Council agreed to table the request until after the next parks and rec meeting to see if the commission is willing to enter into such an arrangement.
During other business, council members discussed the county renovation project and said that some drains on the property were too high to catch stormwater runoff, and Fields was directed to speak to the county’s project manager about that issue.
Also during other business, council re-appointed Keller Engineers as the borough’s engineer with no retainer fee for another year.
During regular business, council voted to pay December bills in the amount of $10,923.70. Receipts for the same period were $8,355.41. Checks were written for $12,881.59, leaving a January 1 balance of $39,732.28.
Council members in attendance were Travis Bard, Rick Buterbaugh, Pat Booth, Mack Shaffer, Pat Frazier, Jim Smith, David Washabaugh and Mayor Mike Chilcote.
McConnellsburg Borough Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton House. The next regularly scheduled meeting is February 2, 2011.