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Council discusses insurance, fuel management

By Staff | Oct 16, 2012

After a nearly 2 1/2-hour special meeting concerning the future of the Community Redevelopment Agency, it was evident that the Cape Coral City Council had about run out of gas by the end of Monday’s workshop meeting at City Hall.

Council barely made a sound as staff discussed ordinances and resolutions, preferring to hear about them on Nov. 5 during public input.

But there were some interesting tidbits discussed during the meeting, which started 90 minutes late, particularly about the city employees’ insurance program.

City financial manager Victoria Bateman discussed insurance, with the caveat by City Manager John Szerlag which said nothing had been set in stone, with City Council.

Bateman said the city had talked current insurer Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida down from a 10.8 percent increase to 5 percent.

From there, it was up to council to decide if it wanted to go with that increase, at a cost of about $800,000 to the city, or to get the same rate as last year, with more co-pays and higher deductions for those insured, including employees, retirees and dependents on its health, vision and dental plans.

Councilmember Kevin McGrail asked Bateman if a zero increase is something the city really wanted to live with.

“My concern is if you start dumping costs on the employees, it’s important you don’t do it so inequitably,” McGrail said. “In the case of medication, anyone who has an illness that has no generic drug will see costs go up from $50 to $80. Now, you have more than a health problem.”

Another concern is that those who insure families or other non-employees will see their co-pays increase significantly, McGrail said. Those who now have no deductible in-network could see it go as high as $750 for a family on the plan.

Dental insurance, which is voluntary, was renewed with the same benefits as in 2012.

Vision, also voluntary, had been issued an RFP by the city. Of the six proposals, The Gehring Group, which is the city’s benefit management consultant, recommended VSP because they are guaranteeing rates with a stronger network.

Bateman would not comment, since negotiations were not completed.

In other business, the city awarded an RFP to Guardian Fueling Technologies of Fort Myers for a fuel management system for the fleet management division for tracking and monitoring of the fuel system.

The cost of the system, which will monitor the fuel efficiency of all vehicles, from heavy equipment to company cars, is not to exceed $546,039.81.

Also, the City Council recognized the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for its work during Tropical Storm Isaac. The 73-member volunteer unit worked 400 volunteer hours to set up, maintain and break down the emergency shelter at Island Coast High School, as well as provide assistance to the Emergency Operations Center.