March 15, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 62

Iron County Finance Committee OKs $4,000 for Hurley Memorial Building

HURLEY — The Iron County Finance Committee approved financial help for the Iron County Memorial Building Thursday.

Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe
The Hurley American Legion is getting $4,000 to help pay utility bills for the Iron County Memorial Building in Hurley after the Iron County Finance Committee approved a motion to help with funding on Thursday.

In February, members of the Hurley American Legion came before the committee to ask for help in paying utility bills for the building.

The building is owned by the county, but the American Legion leases it, and with declining numbers in bowling leagues, the Legion said it needed help in finding alternative revenues.

Legion members asked for $4,000 to get the club through September. Then, they will meet with the bowling leagues to see if participation has increased, and, if not, the building will be shut down.

Committee member and county supervisor Tom Innes, of Gurney, told Legion member Bob Traczyk Thursday he doesn’t want the financial assistance to become a “yearly thing.”

“We hope not, but it all depends on our customers this fall,” Traczyk said.

A motion by Innes was seconded by Jim Kichak, of Mercer, to allow the county to spend $4,000 out of the general courthouse fund for the Legion.

Supervisors Bill Thomas, of Gile, and Jack Prospero, Hurley, abstained from the vote because both are Legion members.

Insurance Deductibles

The committee continued to discuss problems with the county insurance, after a second deductible was found if employees went out of network for insurance.

Clerk Mike Saari said the problem has since been corrected with the insurance, saying that instead of two deductibles, there is now only one.

“I am the insurance contact and I read all through the contract,” Saari said. “To this day, I still don’t see anywhere in there that there are two deductibles. It’s all legal jargon.”

According to Saari, there is a misconception with the policy among employees that it was just added to the contract, however that is not the case.

“When we switched to this insurance company, we had them take the Blue Cross Blue Shield contract we had before and copy it verbatim,” Saari said. “That way, we could compare apples to apples, however this second deductible was always there, in both contracts; we just never had this problem arise.”

There are two county employees who are dealing with the financial burden of having a second deductible. Under the insurance, the first deductible is $100 from the employee and $2,400 from the county.

To help alleviate the financial burden of the second deductible, the committee decided to help the two employees by having them pay 30 percent of the second deductible costs, and the county will pick up the remaining 70 percent.

“I think that is fair, considering that we didn’t see this in the original contract,” Saari said. “They have already paid those second deductibles, so we will reimburse them for the 70 percent.”

It was approved unanimously.

“And this won’t happen again, because I have now worked it out with the insurance company to only have one deductible, whether you are in or out of network,” Saari said. “That started on Jan. 1, 2013.”