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W. Donegal Suspends Employees’ Health Insurance Contributions

West Donegal Township supervisors agreed to suspend township employees’ health insurance contributions for the remainder of 2019 after getting an unusually large refund because of few injuries and illnesses in 2018.

Township Manager John O. Yoder III told supervisors at their meeting on Monday, April 8, that the township had gotten a rebate of a little over $81,000 from Benecon, the cooperative health insurer it uses. The township had paid Benecon about $192,000 for the year, he said.

Yoder said the only time the township had gotten anywhere close to a refund that large was when it got about $51,000 because of little use of the health plan in 2016. He said township employees had avoided getting sick or injured and should be rewarded for that.

Yoder said suspending employees’ health insurance contributions through Dec. 31 would cost the township about $8,000.

“We had a really great year; let’s spread the wealth a little bit,” Yoder said.

Supervisors Vice Chairman Douglas Hottenstein said he was concerned about setting a precedent, but Office Manager Jennifer Rabuck assured him that employee contributions would automatically revert to what they were before on Jan. 1 unless supervisors take another action. Hottenstein ultimately joined in a unanimous vote to suspend the employee contributions.

In other business, supervisors voted unanimously to approve a lot add-on plan for Stone Gables Estate and a variety of waivers for the final subdivision/land development plan for two planned warehouses in the Conewago Industrial Park.

Also, supervisors discussed a problem with litter along Zeager Road leading to the Conewago Industrial Park. Yoder said Roadmaster Todd Garber had sent two township employees out to clean up litter and they filled 80 trash bags. Yoder said truck drivers and employees of the warehouses may be throwing out litter as they drive to and from the industrial park. Yoder suggested posting signs warning people of the penalties for littering might help.

“If they see the signs, maybe they’ll think a little bit,” Yoder said.

Northwest Regional Police Chief noted that speed limit signs are routinely ignored, but supervisors agreed that signs would be cheap and might help.

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