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Commission talks about insurance

A request for proposal was approved by the Washington County Commission on Thursday for county health insurance and pharmacy benefits.

“With the renewal costs that we were informed of … we were quoted an 11.7 percent increase in premiums for the year 2022,” said Commissioner Jamie Booth.

He said the board intends to further investigate “for as good or better insurance for a lower cost.”

Commissioner Charlie Schilling agreed.

“With an 11.7 percent increase, you have to start looking at other alternatives,” he said.

David Browne, executive director of the Washington County Behavioral Health Board, made a request.

“If it comes close, I’d appreciate it if you guys could go locally,” he said. “We want to keep money in the county as much as possible.”

The board also signed a subgrant agreement stating “Ohio Children’s Trust Fund will grant funds to Washington County Family and Children First Council to provide parent and caregiver education and support services.”

In other commission news:

¯ Flite Freimann, executive director of the Washington County Department of Job and Family Services, said they were granted $50,000, with $25,000 to arrive this year and $25,000 to arrive next year. The money will be used to purchase “safety kits.”

In homes were at-risk families have newborns, the funding will be used to purchase items such as safety gates and “appropriate cribs.”

“We don’t like kids sleeping in a pack-and-play,” he said. “But pack-and-plays are $99 and a good crib is $400. We’ll use this money to help these families in need.”

¯ Rich Hays, director of Washington County Emergency Management Agency, submitted the 290-page 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan for approval.

He said it was a requirement from the state and FEMA to receive funding.

“It has to be done every five years and it’s taken us 17 months (to complete),” Hays said.

With the county’s approval, “it still needs the two cities and villages to adopt the plan,” he said.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires communities to develop, adopt and implement the natural hazard mitigation plan.

FEMA’s website states the plans are used to identify natural disaster risks and vulnerabilities that are common in an area. After the risks are identified, long-term strategies for protecting people and property from similar events are developed.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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