LISBON With long-time employee Ruth Drugan retiring from the Columbiana County Health Department, the board Wednesday voted to begin looking for two new employees.
Drugan is the registrar and has worked for the health department for 35 years. The plan is to move another employee into her position and then to hire both a full-time clerk and a part-time public health nurse to work at the department. Drugan's retirement begins May 31.
The board discussed the idea of hiring new employees in executive session and then passed a resolution to hire.
In another matter, the board learned the new health insurance program will have to be operated differently than they initially thought.
The board approved the new health insurance program through Health America Insurance, and it will save the department $61,984. Previously, the board had asked employees to pick up an additional 5 percent of their health insurance premium. Now the board will be able to pay that 5 percent for the employees again and still see a savings of $48,815.
The initial idea for administering the new health insurance program had been to issue debit-type cards to employees to use to cover healthcare costs. However, Fiscal Officer Cis Donahey said they later learned the state auditor's office would not be in favor of them administering the program this way.
So instead, another method will be used. Employees will instead pay for the healthcare and then be reimbursed by the health department.
"We appreciate the assistance from our county auditor's office to help us out like that," said Health Department Commissioner Wesley Vins said of the problem being corrected before the department made a mistake. "It's truly the benefit of being in Columbiana County many communities do not have."
In other matters before the board:
- A rabies clinic will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. April 28 at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center. The cost is $5 per vaccine. Cats and dogs ages 3 months and up are eligible.
- The board granted a variance for Scott McLaughlin, who needed a shorter distance between a well and a septic system on a property on Country Club Drive near Salem.