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City reconsiders stance on League dues

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

The opportunity to save approximately $20,000 on worker compensation insurance premiums might prompt Hays city commissioners to rejoin the Kansas League of Municipalities.

City staff solicited bids from 14 insurance companies and received only one bid -- from Berkshire Hathaway, the city's current workers' compensation carrier. Berkshire Hathaway's bid of $193,101 was 12 percent higher than last term's bid.

At the request of city commissioners, Erin Giebler, city of Hays human resources coordinator, sought a bid from Kansas Municipal Insurance Trust, which up until last year provided the city's workers' compensation insurance.

KMIT's bid of $164,535 came in nearly $30,000 less than the Berkshire Hathaway quote. However, the city would be required to join the League of Kansas Municipalities at a cost of $9,351 in order to be eligible for KMIT coverage.

The city's current insurance expires at the end of March, so City Manager Toby Dougherty said the change to KMIT would require some expediency.

"KMIT basically said if you (commissioners) were to approve authorizing the KMIT quote next Thursday and we cut a check Friday, we could have coverage on Friday," Dougherty told commissioners. "They will make sure of that."

In addition, the League of Kansas Municipalities already has sent the city a membership invoice, so membership could be renewed as quickly as next week.

"There would be a very quick turnaround, but it is doable," Dougherty said.

The city dropped its membership to the Kansas League of Municipalities in December 2011 because of an ongoing dissatisfaction with legislative advocacy offered by the league.

Commissioners will vote on a resolution to rejoin the organization and authorize the city manager to accept KMIT's bid at next week's meeting.

Other agenda items included:

* Informational update on the former Hays shooting range remediation. Three years after a plan of action for cleanup between the city, Ellis County and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was agreed upon, the site soon is expected to be reclassified as "resolved" by KDHE. The cost incurred by the city for the cleanup is $82,400.

* Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course mower purchase. City staff recommended purchase of a Lastec 3300 from Van Hall Equipment for $34,689. Commissioners will vote on the mower purchase next week.

* City hall public restroom renovations. Commissioners at next week's meeting will consider a bid of $34,000 from Karst Construction for upgrades to the 40-year-old restrooms, which include replacement of dated electric and water fixtures.

* Comprehensive financial management policy review.

* City of Hays funds recognition policy for outside agencies. Dougherty will draft a policy that requires agencies receiving city funds to publicly acknowledge the city's investment.

The policy will be reviewed by commissioners at a later meeting.