Centerville officials anticipated saving nearly $60,000 as a part of changing its employees’ health insurance provider Jan. 1.

However, the expected 22% discount — instead of a 10.7% increase if staying with its previous insurer — hasn’t materialized.

Clerk-Treasurer Richard Tincher told council Jan. 31 that he’s still paying previous insurer Anthem because new coverage hasn’t started. Tincher said calls and emails to Centerville’s longtime agent, EPIC Insurance Midwest (formerly RMD/Patti), are not being returned.

Town officials are concerned that employees face a new deductible whenever policies change.

And, because of projected savings, the council had added employee/dependent vision and dental coverage for about $10,000.

Tincher said after the Feb. 1 caucus to pick a new council member that he still hadn’t heard from EPIC, and that he believed the town supplied information in time before the end of the year to get the insurance switched.

WWN attempted to reach EPIC’s Richmond office for comment on Friday afternoon, but the call had not been returned as of Tuesday morning Feb. 7.

In other business

Unsafe property: The council received an estimate of approximately $15,000 to tear down an unsafe building.

Now, the council will defer to the owner, who previously offered to donate the as-is property to the town, to say what steps he’ll take to comply with the unsafe building order.

The property, in the 300 block of West Fourth Street, is near the town’s backup well and water tower.

Advised by attorney Ed Martin, council took no action regarding the previous verbal donation offer and will not spend $650 for a preliminary environmental history without having more information from the owner.

Utility hearings: Council introduced ordinances to increase water and electric rates. It will conduct public hearings at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 (water) and 6:45 p.m. (electricity) before the 7 p.m. council meeting at town hall.

Road projects: Centerville Fire/Rescue leaders attended a public discussion about upcoming Interstate 70 expansion and are still concerned about emergency responses if U.S. 40 and I-70 are both under construction in 2024.

“It’s going to be a dangerous situation for a while,” said town manager Kevin Slick.

Fire station: By their next meeting, council could learn if Indiana’s Office of Rural and Community Affairs will award a grant to renovate Fire Station No. 1.

“Don’t bring me chocolate, just bring me a grant,” Councilman Jack Bodiker said.

Electricity: The town lost 32 electric meters from the pre-Christmas storm, but doesn’t have a definite explanation why, even after an Indiana Municipal Power Agency inspection.

Six homeowners suffered related damage, but no fires or injuries resulted.

Some meters were completely blown apart internally, but stayed attached enough externally that no one knew the meter wasn’t functioning.

Slick said a couple residents could have been electrocuted, but fortunately weren’t.

“You can’t mess with the meters,” he urged.

Any damaged meters should have been caught during January readings.

Legislation: President Dan Wandersee gave councilors a list of bills being considered by the Indiana General Assembly that he believes could affect the town.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.