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INDIAN SHORES – When the town of Indian Shores heard its employee health insurance premiums were about to double, officials decided to make a change. Indian Shores opted out of the Treasure Island Group Health Trust they’d been part of since 2009 and signed up for a stand-alone rate with Public Risk Management of Florida Health Trust. A resolution to authorize the change passed unanimously at the June 12 town hall meeting.

Susan Scrogham, director of finance and personnel, spearheaded the change, which she said would facilitate “substantial savings to the town (of Indian Shores).” The actual savings of the new plan will be an 8.95 percent decrease in premium costs from the plan it shared with Treasure Island.

According to Scrogham, at the current rates, the town will save $17,941 annually.

In accordance with the resolution, a notification letter is being sent to the city of Treasure Island letting it know that Indian Shores is withdrawing from an interlocal agreement between the towns for health insurance coverage. The agreement will end effective Oct. 1.

In contracting with Public Risk Management, insurance coverage for Indian Shores employees will remain the same without lapse.

A requirement of the plan is for the Town Council to designate a board member and an alternate to the board of directors of the pool. The council appointed Scrogham as the board member and Town Administrator Bonnie Dhonau as the alternate.

Police personnel changes

The council approved the hiring of Sarah Mauter, currently the town’s building clerk, to the position of administrative assistant to Indian Shores Chief of Police Terry Hughes. Subsequently, the town authorized the Administrative and Finance Committee to seek a replacement for Mauter as building clerk.

Officer Tim Kennedy was temporarily assigned the rank of corporal without monetary raise effective June 13. The six-month trial period will allow Kennedy a promotion to first line supervisor without additional cost to the town. At the end of the six months’ evaluation, Kennedy’s assignment will either end, be extended, or be raised to the rank of sergeant with the commensurate pay grade. “He’s (Kennedy) been with me for 16 years,” said Hughes.

The town accepted the resignation of police officer Stephen Janick. His resignation was effective June 9.

Emergency program accepted

Indian Shores agreed to participate in the Billboard Emergency Alert System program at no cost to the town. The BEAS program “allows the community to partner with Pinellas County Emergency Management to share messages with the public through a simple notification process,” according to information published by Pinellas County Emergency Management.

The agreement allows Pinellas County Emergency Management to use the town’s digital signage, such as the electronic billboard in front of town hall, to broadcast emergency notifications.