Morenci city council changes insurer 12.12

Written by David Green.

City council members voted Monday to save a lot of cash by changing liability insurance providers. Department heads are hoping they still have the same coverage.

Making the switch from the Michigan Municipal League (MML) insurance plan to one provided by Berends, Hendricks and Stuit Insurance Agency will save the city $7,000 in each of the next three years.

Additional savings could be realized due to the $250 deductible cost in collision insurance compared to $1,000 from MML. The city’s claims for collision coverage are generally below $1,000, said city clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder.

A year ago, the city paid $47,000 to MML for liability insurance coverage. This year’s bid came in at $39,800. Berends, Hendricks and Stuit (BHS), based in Grandville, Mich., gave a bid of $32,800 and guaranteed that rate for three years if the city wishes to renew the contract.

“The last time we went with someone else, it was a big pain for me,” said fire chief Chad Schisler.

Schroeder knew he would be concerned about allowing children to ride on fire trucks during parades, but she checked that issue with BHS and learned it wouldn’t be a problem.

BHS was also aware that Morenci provides coverage in a portion of Ohio, but that was acceptable to them, also.

Police chief Larry Weeks said that he also has concerns about leaving MML because he would be leaving behind valuable resources the company offers.

Weeks said the company has a person on staff who is very familiar with law enforcement issues. Weeks has obtained assistance with policy questions, employee-related concerns and civil liability issues.

Schroeder said BHS also has a support person on staff. She acknowledged a “comfort level” with Michigan Municipal League, also, but after reviewing the BHS proposal, she’s expecting comparable service.

“For the cost savings, I think it’s worth a try,” she said.

“I realize we need to save money,” Chief Weeks said. “I just want council to understand what we’re receiving now.”

Schisler was also concerned about replacement cost coverage on city equipment, noting that the cost of purchasing a new fire truck far exceeds the prices paid in the past for the existing fleet of vehicles.

Schroeder said BHS offers the same replacement costs as MML: for fire trucks  only and not other city equipment.

With councilors Keith Pennington and Jason Bryant absent, council members vote 5-0 to accept a one-year contract with Berends, Hendricks and Stuit.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016