Dublin selectmen talk firefighter insurance

  • Dublin Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:26PM

Dublin selectmen are currently debating the need for a supplementary health insurance package for volunteer fire fighters.

Selectmen met with Fire Chief Thomas Vanderbilt and other members of the department and Tom Green from Provident Insurance, who answered questions about the insurance, which the fire company has paid for the past eight years. This year, there is a request to include the cost – about $4,000 per year – in the town’s operating budget. 

Selectmen have questioned the need for the insurance as they are still determining what additional benefits the supplementary insurance would offer beyond the town’s workers compensation benefits. 

“We don’t want to be accused of not covering our volunteer firefighters,” said board chair Walter Snitko. “We just want to be responsible. What additional benefits are we getting for the cost?”

Selectmen decided to have a benefits sheet provided by Green compared side by side with the benefits provided by Primex, the town’s insurance provider, to see what additional benefits, if any, the insurance offers in addition to what one would get if they were hurt while serving in capacity as a firefighter for the town.

Vanderbilt said the department has been fortunate enough to to not need to cash in on the supplementary insurance since they began paying for it. Vanderbilt said many surrounding towns have the insurance, have had to use it, and feel it is an important thing to continue to pay for. 

Selectmen also discussed a potential $500,000 warrant article to fund road projects.

Road Agent Brian Barden said he there is currently $242,000 in the town’s capital reserve fund, which could help subsidize loan payments.

Selectman Dale Gabel, who is also on the capital improvements program (CIP) committee, said the committee is currently looking at annual payments needed into the reserve account to ensure that the account would not completely empty. 

Town Administrator Sherry Miller said she is currently in communication with two banks who have said that the first payment wouldn’t be until 2019. The work would likely be completed in 2018. 

Currently the town is paying off the most recent road loan taken out, with the last $65,009 payment due in July 2018.