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Everson discusses firemen's insurance

| Thursday, June 18, 2009

Everson Borough Council members are still unsure whether Upper Tyrone supervisors will agree to pay 65 percent of the firemen's workers compensation insurance.

Borough secretary Kathy Zaffina this week said she sent the supervisors a letter concerning the request but has not heard anything.

At a work session last month, council President Mike Banaszak said the fire department's workers compensation bill increased from $4,912 a year for the past two years to $9,859 this year.

"The cost for workers compensation for the fire department is not based on the number of claims, but on the number of residents the fire department services," Banaszak said. "In the past, the insurance company has shown the fire department servicing 700 residents in Everson, but they failed to add the number of residents in Upper Tyrone Township that our department also services."

Banaszak added that the insurance company did add those numbers in this year, bringing the total residents provided with fire protection to 3,500.

"In the past, the borough paid 60 percent of the bill and the township paid 40 percent of the bill, but now the numbers have been inflated because of township residents," Banaszak said. "With protection to borough residents staying at around 700, the bill should really be divided equally rather than the 60/40 split."

While a 2000 agreement stated the borough would share the workers compensation premiums with any other borough or township that utilized its services, it didn't state any specific split of how much of the bill any municipality would pay.

"We're not sure where the 60/40 split came from, but the insurance company is working to come up with a formula or what would be a fair split," Banaszak had said.

Zaffina said the borough has since paid its 35 percent billed by the insurance company and added that the insurance company planned to bill the township for the other 65 percent.

Solicitor Mark Rowan said the best way to handle the situation would be to execute a three-party agreement.

In other business, council agreed to advertise an ordinance revision for collection of delinquent real estate transfer tax.

Rowan said the revisions include the standard 1 percent reality transfer tax, a 10 percent fee if it's not paid on time, and allows the Department of Revenue to collect the taxes for the borough if they aren't paid at all.

Council members also passed a motion to extend the existence of the Westmoreland Municipal Authority for another 50 years.

Rowan said the 50-year resolution expires in 2011, and the sewage authority is hoping the extension will help with the financing of a new project. Scottdale must pass the motion.

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