Friday, November 5, 2004

Neighbors briefs

Butler County changes health insurance firm

HAMILTON - Butler County will save $590,000 by switching health insurance from Anthem to a nonprofit consortium sponsored by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.

Commissioners on Thursday approved an $11.3 million contract with the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio to cover 1,800 employees beginning Jan. 1.

Employees will pay an average 9.3 percent more under this program, plus higher co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses, said Douglas Duckett, county personnel director. The county's costs increase 9.4 percent, he said.

Anthem had proposed a 29 percent premium increase, said Derek Conklin, county administrator.

Butler County becomes the seventh - and largest - county participating in the 2-year-old consortium. Commissioner Greg Jolivette said the consortium offered Butler County two seats on its board.

"That gives us a voice in future increases and future savings," he said. "Being a new association, and that we're the biggest county, they'll want to keep us happy.

Montgomery manager gets 6% salary raise

MONTGOMERY - City Manager Cheryl Hilvert was granted a 6 percent raise Wednesday, setting her new salary at $124,342.

Councilwoman Gerri Harbison said the raise was a combination of a standard 3 percent cost of living adjustment and a merit increase.

"Cheryl had a lot on her plate this year with the Triangle development," Harbison said. "She actually had a list last year of 13 goals and she made significant progress on all of them. So we felt 6 percent was merited this year."

Fairfield schools offer pay-to-play refund fees

Now that the Fairfield district's levy has passed, the school board and the group Promoting Activities for a Complete Education (PACE) are fulfilling their commitment to return extracurricular fees.

The district is restoring extracurricular activities and will pay for all activities retroactive to the beginning of the school year.

A check for $336,545 has already been issued to PACE.

PACE will issue refund checks for grades 7-12 participation fees, and school district officials will be accept reduced "district participation fees" at the following times and locations:

• 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Fairfield High School cafeteria.

• 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Fairfield High School cafeteria.

• 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 13, Fairfield High School Athletic Lobby (by door number 8 in the back).

Photo identification will be needed to pick up the refund check.

Open house today at Woodlawn Goodwill

WOODLAWN - Visitors can tour Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries at an open house and ceremony today celebrating a four-year, $14 million renovation.

The public is invited to see vocational training areas and other programs aiding the disabled, veterans and others.

The renovation was funded through donations and bonds issued by the village of Woodlawn, according to Goodwill.

The open house at 10600 Springfield Pike will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Republican from Westwood; Ohio Rep. Jim Raussen, R-Springdale, and other officials will speak at a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m.

Information: (513) 771-4800.

Contributors: John Kiesewetter, Sheila McLaughlin, Liz Oakes

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