News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 9, 2010

Library workers facing higher insurance costs next year

TERRE HAUTE — More than 60 employees of the Vigo County Public Library will be facing somewhat higher health insurance costs next year.

The library’s board of directors voted Monday evening to approve the use of Anthem Insurance for the library’s employees after a presentation by Paul Biltmier, an insurance consultant with R.E. Sutton & Associates of Brownsburg.

Employee insurance costs will increase about 8.5 percent under the plan selected, Biltmier said. That is less than the overall increase in health care costs of approximately 14 percent, he added.

“It’s dynamic times in health care,” Biltmier told the library board at their monthly meeting in the main library.

Administrative and other costs associated with new health care legislation are leading some insurers to leave the health insurance business.

Eventually, only the very largest companies may remain, he speculated.

Meanwhile, the library board also heard from Judy Lowe, coordinator of Partners Advancing Literacy Skills (PALS), about improvements in Vigo County ISTEP scores that could be associated with the organization’s work.

Among other things, PALS sends three specialized writing teachers into Vigo County fifth-grade classrooms. PALS also provides each Vigo County fifth-grade classroom with a set of Young Hoosier Books and organizes a “Battle of the Books” reading contest each year among elementary and middle school students.

“We’re real excited about all of the progress we’ve seen” in ISTEP scores, Lowe told the board. “We feel like we are contributing to that positive growth.”

The Vigo County Public Library is a partner with PALS, along with Hamilton Center, Indiana State University, the Vigo County School Corp. and the Wabash Valley Community Foundation.

Also Monday, the library board voted to approve allowing alcohol to be served in the library meeting rooms for two special, one-night-only, upcoming fundraising events.

The first event, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, will include a presentation of the work of architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright.

The event will feature light appetizers, a cash bar and a silent auction. There is an admission charge of $20 per person.

Funds raised will benefit the West Terre Haute branch of the library and the Wabashiki Wetlands Observatory. Reservations for Friday evening’s reception can be made by calling (812) 232-1113, ext. 2282. Checks should be made out to the Vigo County Public Library.

The second event will take place in March and will raise money for the Big Read, said Nancy Dowell, director of the library. The upcoming Big Read will feature the work of Edgar Allan Poe, she said.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

 

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