Trumbull commissioners expect insurance hike

WARREN — The cost of providing insurance coverage to Trumbull County is expected to increase by more than $100,000, according to Trumbull County Human Resources Director Alexandra DeVengencie-Bush.

Commissioners voted to make available a contract proposal from the County Risk Sharing Authority, also known as CORSA, in which the county will pay an estimated $825,384 to be provided insurance coverage. CORSA is a public risk-sharing pool that provides insurance to the majority of Ohio’s 88 counties. It provides insurance for county buildings and equipment, as well as litigation services in the event counties are faced with lawsuits.

The county is receiving a 13.14% increase over last year’s premium, according to DeVengencie-Bush.

The total projected cost for 2024-25 is $892,423. However, the county is receiving a $67,000 credit for a variety of actions it has taken to reduce risk through training programs.

Last year, Trumbull was charged $721,000 for its CORSA policy, which was an increase from approximately $500,000 the year before, according to DeVengencie-Bush.

Prior to receiving its contract proposal, DeVengencie-Bush noted she believed the CORSA premium could have been as much as $1 million.

DeVengencie-Bush said every community represented by CORSA received a 10% increase. Trumbull received an additional 3.14% increase.

Because CORSA’s insurance is a risk pool, all counties share in the increased costs, even those of individual counties.

DeVengencie-Bush described Trumbull’s CORSA costs in the last two years having increased by approximately $400,000 since she was named its human resources director.

“It’s a lot,” she noted.

Commissioners Mauro Cantalamessa, Niki Frenchko and Denny Malloy voted on 25 resolutions during Wednesday’s meeting.

Frenchko asked to go through most of the resolutions being discussed using her laptop to look up the agenda items as the commissioners were voting on them.

Frenchko argued that she was not able to get assistance from the commissioners’ staff in correlating the agenda items to the requests made by department heads or the persons who made the requests for the items.

Cantalamessa and Malloy questioned why Frenchko did not attend the weekly Tuesday morning workshops at which department heads generally explain the need for each item. Frenchko said she listens to the workshops on the county’s website or YouTube channel.

County Auditor Martha Yoder described her office sending its information about the financial items on the agenda to each of the commissioners through email.

The commissioners voted to:

•   Approve Johnston Township Fire Department receiving $153,000 from Trumbull County’s American Rescue Plan funds for the purchase of an ambulance.

The township is the fifth Trumbull community the commissioners approved using the ARP funds for the purchase of ambulances.

•   Approve providing $15,000 to the Warren Civic Music Association to be used for the program 2024-25 concert season. The county agreed to provide the association ARP funds if it received a matching amount from Warren city. The Association is based in Warren.

Malloy stated since most of the activities of the association occur in Warren, the commissioners required the city to “have skin in the game,” as far as providing funding.

•   Support a resolution from Weathersfield Township trustees to rename Weathersfield bridge #15 to Disabled American Veterans Bridge and Weathersfield Township bridge #21 to be renamed the Weathersfield Township First Responders and Veterans Bridge. Public hearings on the name changes are to take place.

•   Accept the 2023 annual report for the Trumbull County Records Center.

•   Approve a dispatch services contract between the Girard Fire Department and the Trumbull County Dispatch Center. The county’s dispatch center will charge Girard Fire Department $15,085 per year to be paid in quarterly installments of $3,771.25.

•   Approve disciplining a Trumbull County Department Jobs and Family Services employee with a 10-day suspension from April 4 through April 17, as well as providing a last-chance agreement. Commissioners Cantalamessa and Malloy supported the action.

Frenchko voted against the discipline stating she did not trust the investigator and the investigation process, suggesting it was political and used selectively against employees.

She accused members of the commissioners’ staff of constantly being insubordinate to her. Malloy disagreed, saying what Frenchko was saying had nothing to do with the discipline of the jobs and family services employee.


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