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City council opts to contract with out-of-area agency

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Monday night, after hearing from representatives of two insurance companies, the Cassville City Council voted to enter into an agreement with Connell Insurance, of Hollister. The agreement is for the city's property and liability, workmans' compensation and airport insurance.

Connell Insurance submitted a $38,187 bid for the city's property and liability insurance. The only other bidder was the city's current insurance carrier, Willis Insurance, whose bid totalled $64,182 for property and liability insurance.

Willis Insurance also provided the city with a $1,927 bid for airport insurance, which matched Connell Insurance's bid.

The $19,292 workman's compensation bid submitted by Willis Insurance was $381 less than Connell Insurance's bid of $19,673.

The aldermen invited Tim Connell, of Connell Insurance, to talk about the property and liability bid submitted by his company.

"The last time we bid these your bid was $7,000 or $8,000 less," said Alderman Terry Heinz. "How is it so much less this time?"

Connell Insurance's property and liability insurance will be provided through Midwest Public Risk, which is a pool of public entities, including cities, counties, special districts, health departments and school districts, across Missouri and Kansas.

"A pool or a trust is an optional way to do business," said Connell. "Groups band together to create their own pool or trust, and you have to be a member to belong to the group or be on the board. They hire a third party administrator to do their marketing and underwriting.

"Missouri Public Risk is one of the largest providers of insurance for cities and municipalities in Missouri," said Connell.

After Connell spoke, Bob Allen, of Willis Insurance, asked to address the council.

"I just don't want to let it go unsaid that we have serviced the city for over 40 years," said Allen. "We have been here when others were not.

"Connell has thrown some pretty good prices at you," said Allen. "We are here to help the city. We have your best interests at heart. We know the risk of bidding is that you might lose the bid, but we are willing to take any portion of the bid that you would like to give us."

Allen reminded the council that Willis Insurance is located in close proximity to the city hall and agents are available to assist with needs at all times.

"We understand the city has to save money, but we would appreciate the opportunity to help in anyway we can," said Allen.

Heinz made a motion to approve the complete insurance bid from Connell Insurance, including the property and liability, workman's compensation and airport insurance bids. Alderman Jeff Parsons seconded the motion, and all council members voted in favor.

"Why do you want to take around $20,000 out of the city when you wouldn't have to?" Allen asked. "You do advocate for shopping locally, but you have thrown this out the window. I really can't grasp that."

"Connell saved us $26,000 so therefore with everything else equal I think we should award the whole thing to him," said Heinz.

The total premium approved by the council is $59,787, which is a savings of $34,117.25 over the premiums the city paid in 2011.

In new business, the aldermen received the 2011 audit report from Marshall Decker, of Decker and DeGood CPA.

Decker said that the city's sewer department accounts were in fairly good standing, but the water department accounts were down. He said the council might need to consider a rate increase for water service.

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Approved a $7,820 bid from Frazier Oil Co. for airport fuel.

* Amended the municipal code to outlaw the possession or sale of products containing synthetic cannabinoids and alternative drugs.

* Was addressed by Edwin Marrello, who shared several concerns regarding pedestrian safety.

* Rescinded a previous vote to allow Alvin Pryor to continue with his previous bid to purchase and relocate the house from the airport provided that he completes the move by Aug. 27.

* Approved a $15,000 expenditure for the mapping of the city's water and sewer system by Missouri Rural Water Association.

* Voted to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the city's meter replacement project after the RFP has been reviewed by the city attorney.

* Discussed vandalism and littering that continually occurs at the Cassville City Park. The aldermen could consider a reduction in park hours.



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