Versailles discusses insuring $34 million inventory


By Meladi Brewer

VERSAILLES — Versailles discussed finances, grants, and premiums.

The Fiscal Officers Kathy Ording addressed the council Wednesday regarding a requested $25,000 appropriation increase for the EMS Budget.

“We got to looking back last year, and there are some things within the budget that weren’t appropriately added into the appropriations,” Ording said.

She said the service contracts are also another area that needs to be looked at. This year, Ording took a different approach to budgeting for these contracts.

“At the beginning of the year, what I did differently from prior years, I did a purchase order and set aside that money immediately,” Ording said.

Some of the service contracts do not get paid until the end of the year, but Ording “just wanted to have that money set aside.”

“I found out real quick that by putting these purchase orders in that I am short, so rather than close those money orders out and not have that money set aside, I am asking to amend the appropriations another $25,000,” Ording said.

There is hope that the village does not spend the $25,000, but by putting it into the budget, it will elevate the worry of over spending the appropriation. The council voted to approve the consideration of the ordinance and declare it an emergency.

The council also voted to approve the recommendation from the Finance & Audit Committee to approve the annual premium renewal to the village’s property, general liability, and cyber insurance. After doing a “major shop” last year and finding that their previous provider was the best option by far, they felt it was reasonable to stick with the same option again for this year’s renewal. Ording said she believes “this is the best place for us to be right now”.

“All are due March 1,” Ording said. “It’s just a matter of the renewal and the cost of that renewal.”

Ording advised the council about costs between this year and last saying “last year we had paid $100,966 and with the increase this year it went up to $109,333.”

“With the cost difference we also added two more million dollars to our coverage,” Ording said.

This is due to adding to the cost of coverage for vehicles. The Village added on a new tanker and tractor as well. Village Administrator Kyle Francis said last year they had 32 million dollars insured and this year they have 34 million dollars worth of claims insured.

“For example, the Village Hall has an inflation escalation factor that they put onto properties. That building last year was insured at $916,000 and now it is 1.7 million dollars for a replacement value,” Francis said.

These factors are what the village is running into that has caused the influctuation on cost. Unfortunately, this is the story everywhere as inflation continues to take a toll on economics.

“I wont say a suggestion, but an option was to increase that coverage from $100,000 to $200,000, and it would increase our premium by $342,” Ording said.

Council member Karla Dieringer questioned what all was covered by the insurance and if increasing by only the $342 is going to be enough.

“Do you think it would be beneficial to go for the $200,000? I mean $342 does not seem like that much for an extra $100,000?” Dieringer said.

Francis said the increase they are suggesting was the recommendation.

“We had talked about it for $342 to get an extra $100,000, we felt that was a drop in the bucket,” Francis said.

Ording said the other option to look at was on Law Enforcement Liability, and the carrier they had last year was carrying small municipalities.

“They went shopping for us, and they found and provided a proposal; however, the deductible was $10,000,” Ording said.

Last year’s deductible was $5,000 with another insurance, so they did have an option of going with Lexington Insurance. The quote Lexington gave did have a deductible of $5,000, but it would increase the premium to $203.

“So as a finance committee we discussed it, and the decision for this year is to leave the proposal for the $10,000 deductible and not do the increase with Lexington,” Ording said.

Francis said this is also due to the increase factor. Lexington is not filed, so they can increase their rates as they deem fit, and the other insurance is filed. Therefore, they can only increase their prices so much.

Ording also addressed the council regarding a decrease in appropriations. Last year, the village had three big projects still half in motion: Well Field, North Central Water Line, and the Pool Filtration Project.

“We at the end of November realized that the grant we are getting for the pool is not coming until after the project is done,” Ording said. “We needed money to pay for the project up front and then we get funding with the grant.”

An advance had been made from the general fund into the pool fund, and they covered all the pool expenses in 2023.

“What was not caught was on the budget is I added this $239,000 to 2024’s budget because I didn’t know we were going to do anything,” Ording said.

The appropriation does not need to be in the pool fund and it puts the village in a negative situation. Ording said the county advised her to put in another negative $239,000, and it will balance out.

“All the purchase orders are in place. They were all put in in 2023. We had the advance from the general fund for the grant amount, and once the project is done, we will get that grant. From there we will proceed to pay the general fund back,” Ording said.

She said this issue was just an oversight at year end budgeting, and they will proceed to make that connection.

The next Versailles Council meeting will take place Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m., in EMS Building, 320 Baker Road, Versailles.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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