Chesterton Tribune


Jail medical staffing and health insurance on Commissioners agenda

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Although the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Porter County Board of Commissioners will resume with their regular meeting this week.

The Commissioners will meet at 2 p.m. on Tuesday in Suite 205 of the County Administration Building, at 155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso.

Agenda highlights include moving forward with selecting a private firm to increase the medical staff at the Porter County Jail.

Sheriff David Lain will make recommendations from the proposals submitted by individual firms which were received at the Nov. 7 Commissioners meeting. The jail has under the current system four registered nurses contracted with Advanced Correctional Healthcare based in Peoria, Ill.

Lain said there are no medics on staff between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. which poses a large liability risk for the county. If there are emergencies during that time, the inmate is taken to the hospital which can be a costly measure for the county.

Lain said he hopes to hire up to 13 new medical nurses with the prospective company at the start of next year. One of those nurses will be assigned to the Juvenile Service Center.

In other business, the Commissioners are expected to move on a proposal made by the committee formed to find a new health plan for county workers. As told at the previous Commissioners’ meeting by insurance agent Anton Insurance the county would offer two choices for insurance plans.

One of the new plans would propose increases on deductibles from $300 to $500 for singles and $700 to $1,000. Premium costs will remain the same for the second plan, which gives employees the option to pay into a health savings account.

The HSA plan would call for a $1,250 deductible for singles and a $2,500 deductible for families and could bring savings up to 15 percent on the county’s budget if all employees opt into the plan.

County Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, said the plan needs to be in place before open enrollment for county employees starts for this next year.

Meanwhile, County Assessor Jon Snyder will discuss a hosted virtual interface with the Commissioners, part of enhancing online services to county residents.

Capt. George Gonzalez of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police will present a proposal for an upgrade addition to the department’s evidence locker.

County Voter Registration Directors Sundae Schoon and Kathy Kozuszek will discuss with the commissioners the space issues their office is facing.

Also, attorney Mike Bolde will present a petition to vacate Sloan Street in Boone Grove.

Later in the meeting, at approximately 2:45 p.m. the Plan Commission will discuss a Right of Way Certification for the Dunes-Kankakee Trail. The Commissioners will also hold a second reading for the Plan Commission’s proposed fees and building fees for next year. There will also be a public hearing for the Sagers Lake Dam grant. The County Redevelopment Commission has discussed pursuing a grant to repair the dam located in Valparaiso.


Posted 11/19/2012