News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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November 18, 2012

School board to review health premiums at Monday meeting

TERRE HAUTE — Vigo County School Corp. employees would not have an increase in health insurance premiums next year, based on a recommendation from the district benefits committee.

The School Board will consider that recommendation when it meets at 6 p.m. Monday in the administration building, 686 Wabash Ave.

According to information provided to the board, “The claims history has been such that Anthem’s underwriting team feels comfortable with no increase for the 2013 plan year.”

Also, RE Sutton and Associates, the district consultant, negotiated the reduction of some administrative fees with Anthem after the October benefits committee meeting. With that reduction and the claims history, the consultant concurs with Anthem that a rate hold would be appropriate for 2013.

“We’re very, very happy with that,” said superintendent Dan Tanoos. He noted that there have been fewer claims involving serious or catastrophic illness this year.

In other matters, the administration is seeking permission to refinance energy savings contracts. With declining interest rates, the administration would like to take advantage of the potential savings available.

In 2006, it entered into an energy savings contract with Energy Systems Group, financed at an interest rate of 4.1 percent. In 2010, it entered into a similar agreement at an interest rate of 4.8 percent.

Currently, interest rates are 2 to 3 percent for loans of this type.  

The semi-annual loan payments are paid through the Capital Projects Fund, and “as circuit breaker losses continue to plague the Capital Projects Fund, the savings provided by lower payments would be beneficial,” according to the administration’s recommendation.

With board permission, the administration will begin soliciting quotes on interest rates and proceed with refinancing.

In other matters:

The administration recommends that Martin Riley architects/engineers be approved as the architect for several 2013 roofing/masonry projects.

It recommends that MMS Architects/Commercial Interiors be approved as the designer for several projects in 2013 involving flooring and interior walls and doors.

Under personnel, the board will be asked to approve Madonna Johnson as interim principal at Riley Elementary, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 30. She will be compensated at $250 per day.

If Principal Claire Marchese is unable to return on Dec. 3, Johnson will continue in that capacity until Marchese is able to return.

Tanoos said that Marchese was involved in a serious automobile accident in late October.

“She is still at home convalescing and is still experiencing pain from the wreck. She has not been released by her doctor to return to work,” Tanoos said. “We look forward to her return at a future date yet to be determined … We miss her dearly; she is an excellent principal.”

The board also will act on the resignation of Ron Clinkenbeard as the Terre Haute North Vigo High School athletic director. The resignation is for personal reasons.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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