Township trustees award contract for road paving project

Insurance costs for the township will increase less than 1 percent next year.
HOWLAND -- Township trustees awarded a $174,527 contract to Zanesville-based Shelly & amp; Sands Inc. to resurface roads.
Scheduled for resurfacing are Cain Drive; Darlington Road; Howland Springs Road, between state Route 46 and Howland-Wilson Road; and Ridgelawn Avenue.
David McCann, public works director, said Wednesday that Howland-Wilson was removed from this year's program because of the road widening project at state Route 82 at Howland-Wilson.
Resurfacing should begin in about a month, McCann added.
McCann explained that at least one more road will be added to the program because of $27,609 that will not be spent on Howland-Wilson.
Insurance costs
In other business, the township will see less than a 1 percent increase in health, life and dental insurance cost for employees during the next year.
The township will pay $558,700 for the year beginning Sept. 1, only a 0.3 percent increase from the current year.
Township Administrator Darlene St. George said maintaining insurance costs, which are annually increasing by double digits nationwide, is due to cooperation among administrators and unions representing the township's employees.
About eight insurance carriers made various proposals last week.
At Wednesday's trustees meeting, the contract was awarded to Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield for health coverage, $513,911, and life, $6,993. The dental contract was awarded to MetLife Dental, $37,865.
From September 2003 through August 2004, when the township was self-insured, it paid $687,133 for employee health, life and dental coverage, according to township records.
From September 2004 through the end of August, it will have paid Anthem $550,090, or a savings of $137,043 from the previous year.
St. George told trustees the carriers who made proposals would only commit to a one-year agreement. She was seeking a two-year commitment.
Youth program
Also Wednesday, Trustee Rick Clark expressed concern about dwindling use of the youth summer program. The nine-week program provides activities for children.
He said "new life" should be infused in the program, perhaps through added activities or more publicity.
The program served 368 children this summer -- compared with 788 when it started in 1998 and 504 in 2004.
The township will attempt to determine over the winter why participation is falling off, Clark explained.
Clark also reported that residents must use biodegradable bags during the leaf pickup program this year. He said the bags that decompose will reduce the cost of disposal and are environmentally friendly.

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