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Cape to buy 30 defibrillators with confiscated cash

By Staff | Oct 1, 2013

Cape Coral City Council may not have totally agreed on all subjects at its regular meeting Monday, but the elected board was in agreement with the purchase of 30 portable defibrillators – especially given the funding source.

The $50,000 expenditure will come from state forfeiture funds – money collected as a result of drug busts and other criminal activity. It’s the same source of funds the city used to buy a SWAT vehicle last year.

Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz read off a list of the many nearby police departments that have this potential life-saving device and said this should have been done years ago.

“This is long overdue, but it’s a landmark movement for officers and a service they’re happy to provide,” Chulakes-Leetz said. “Early defibrillation saves lives and officers are often first on the scene.”

Police Chief Bart Connelly said the training on the defibrillator will take about two hours.

“I understand where they would like to have this in their arsenal,” Councilmember Kevin McGrail said. “You hope you never need to use it, but it’s nice to know they’re there.”

The city also got great news regarding its expenditures in health insurance benefits, as it will save more than $710,000 this year.

It will see a 1.5 percent decrease in its medical premiums, according to a presentation made by Human Resource Director Lisa Sonego.

The measure, in which the city will stay with Florida Blue, will save the city more than $335,000.

Humana will take over the city’s dental plan at a $21,000 savings; a move to Florida Combined Life for basic life insurance and long-term disability will save the city almost $158,000.

The deal includes $180,000 given to the city to spend directly on wellness programs such as smoking cessation and dieting, among others.

The full invoice price will be $23.831 million, which includes medical, dental, basic life and long-term disability.

Sonego said the upcoming Obamacare will have no impact on health coverage.

The recommendations made in the report were approved unanimously.

In other business, the city approved the reappointment of two members to its Health Facilities Authority, Betty Dill and Linda Prince, as well as two members to the Contractors Regulatory Board, Dolores Classon and Stan Raso.

It also approved the salary of the legal administrative assistant to City Attorney Dolores Menendez at $17.47 an hour and passed a resolution to approve the award of bid to Community Asphalt Corp. for the local road paving project in the south Cape.