Council to finalize insurance switch

Tonight, the City Council will discuss the chance to change Carbondale’s insurance provider for the first time in 20 years as well as an ordinance to lease property to a community garden company.

According to the council agenda, the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association has provided the city with general liability, general property and workers compensation insurance since 1992. However, the company has gradually raised the premium by 78 percent from the 2008 policy rate of $978,000 to the 2012 rate of $1,736,525.

The agency’s proposed plan for 2013 is a $52,802 decrease from 2012, but the city has looked into other options and may be able to save more than $500,000 by switching to another insurance provider.

The Arthur J. Gallagher company sent a proposal Oct. 2 and offered services for $1,183,262. Gallagher was determined the best fit for Carbondale when the notice was reviewed by a committee composed of Finance Department staff and City Manager Kevin Baity.

Mayor Joel Fritzler said multiple insurance agencies were contacted in the search for a better option.

“As we are constantly looking for ways to cut our expense, we requested bids from insurance carriers,” he said. “Gallagher gave us the lowest bid.”

Gallagher, IMLRMA and an insurance company called Mesirow Financial were all contacted in May, and each showed interest to provide services. However, Mesirow has yet to submit a proposal, according to the agenda.

If passed, the resolution will allow the city manager to enter into a contract with Gallagher for 2013.

The council will also discuss an ordinance that would allow Carbondale to enter into a lease with Common Greens Inc. Baity said the newly formed not-for-profit organization would provide the community with fruits and vegetables with space for others to grow produce as well.

Common Greens looks to obtain the property of 301 N. Marion St. and would have two years to satisfy the lease’s terms, according to the agenda. The terms Common Greens would need to fulfill include water line and spigot installation on the property, ground preparation for raised bed installation, installation of fencing that would surround the premises, and installation of at least 15 raised garden beds.

A public hearing will take place before the ordinance is discussed so community members can comment on whether the property should be sold to the company.

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About Austin Flynn

Austin Flynn can be reached at aflynn@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext.252.

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