Toulon City Council ponders offering health insurance, but cost still an issue

By Jason Musselman
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The Toulon City Council held an executive session Monday night to discuss employment and performance of employees, but Mayor Larry Hollis had no statement and no action was taken following the 30 minute closed-door meeting.

Earlier in the meeting the council discussed health insurance for employees.

“The problem with health insurance is the cost of health insurance,” said Hollis. “I said I’d bring it to the council and see your thoughts.”

Quotes for four employees ranged from $2,016 to $6,158 per month. A minimum of 25% employer contribution would be required regardless of the chosen plan and deduction level.

“I think it would be a great benefit but I don’t know where the money comes from,” said council member Art Nutzhorn.

Various options were discussed before Hollis said “Let’s do some more digging and see what we can come up with for better rates.”

The city received one bid for the red truck and plow of $100 from Daniel Steelman; however the junk metal value of the truck is $350. Steelman had previously contacted the city and told them he’d match the junk metal value of $350. The council agreed to that offer and will give him until Oct. 6 to make the transaction complete or else they will take the junk value.

Several other items discussed had no final action, but the council is looking into them. The first being door-to-door solicitors.

Currently solicitors are allowed provided they register and pay a $10 per day fee at city hall; however the increasing number and misleading information, especially concerning electrical rates, is confusing many citizens. One idea was to eliminate solicitors.

City attorney Bruce Fehrenbacher does not think that’s enforceable. “It becomes a freedom of speech issue,” he said. Police Chief Gary Bent countered with, “Well, isn’t it a breach of peace issue too when they come on to someone’s property?”

The item will be on next month’s agenda, along with possible land swap with Chief Bent. Many years ago when the little league diamonds were built some of the outfield was placed on Bent’s personal property. A plan had been worked out at least 10 years ago to fix the situation, but both parties think it was never filed or recorded correctly to fix the issue. The city will check to see if the paperwork still exists and can be finalized.

Fehrenbacher did mention there are demolition actions against two properties owned by Jim and Connie Howell pending in court.

Finally, resident Cindy Davidson approached the council about creating a youth center for students after school. She stated she would like to use the Franklin building on Main Street and would contact Betty Franklin about availability. Davidson mentioned she had already contacted people willing to help and amusement game dealers, adding “In the winter there is really nothing for the youth to do.”

She proposed the name of the facility be “Rebel Rec Room” and asked the council if they’d be willing to help pay rent and/or expenses. The council said they’d need more information before being able to make a decision.

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