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County to review new insurance deal

Lincoln County could be looking at big savings in insurance premiums.

Risk management specialist Brooks Miller and finance director Donna Hopkins with the Mississippi Association of Supervisors submitted a proposal Monday to the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors, asking them to join the MAS Insurance Trust.

Miller and Hopkins were filling in for the trust’s administrator Leslie Scott, who was not able to attend the meeting in person. However, Scott was available through speaker phone to answer questions for the board.

The county currently pays $399,922 annually in insurance premiums to Zurich, according to county administrator David Fields. The new proposal from MASIT would reduce annual premiums to $196,117 — $203,805 less than the county’s current payments.

The board voted to approve the proposal, pending a review by Fields and board attorney Bob Allen.

The board did not immediately approve the proposal because of concerns brought to the board by Chancery Court Clerk Tillmon Bishop.

“I would suggest that Bob and David take a look at it with a fine tooth comb to make sure the coverage is similar,” Bishop said. “If not, the premium won’t mean anything.”

According to Scott, buildings would be covered for the cost of replacement, and equipment would be covered based on their cash value. Flood coverage would be up to $100 million, except for special flood hazard areas as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which are only covered up to $10 million.

Fields said he will be reviewing the policy in depth, but his current impression is that MASIT coverage is similar to the coverage they get from Zurich.

In other business:

• The board entered an executive session for 30 minutes to discuss ongoing litigation. No action was taken after the closed-door meeting.

• The board voted to approve an update of the hazard mitigation plan, up to $65,000. The plan will be bid out by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, which will pay 90 percent of the cost. The other 10 percent will be spread out among the participating counties in the district. Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey estimated that the county would pay about $600.

• The county will apply for a $750,000 capital improvements loan with the Mississippi Development Authority to fund renovations to the AbilityWorks building on Industrial Park Road. AbilityWorks will sign the lease and make the loan payments, according to Fields.

• A proposal to revisit the septic tank ordinance was tabled until the next meeting.

• The county’s veterans officer will attend his required annual training in Biloxi on Oct. 19-21.