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City board members will consider approving a contract on Tuesday night that will determine the health and medical insurance provider for city employees for 2019.

The city recently published a bid request to insurance providers, and received bids from four companies, according to a city staff report. City staff is recommending the lowest bid, which was submitted by Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) in the amount of $1.71 million. This figure reflects the projected annual increase for next year, which is determined on the basis of employee participation rates in the insurance plan.

The bid is three percent higher than the current plan, which amounts to $1.66 million, according to a city staff report. Nonetheless, BCBS's bid is lower than the other three bids submitted, which requested increases ranging from 11.7 percent to 18.3 percent.

Additional provisions in the bid request for the plan included a $1,000 deductible preferred provider organization plan (PPO) and a $2,000 high deductible health plan (HDHP), according to a city staff report.

Following this discussion, the meeting's agenda consists of six additional items:

• The second reading ordinance that would rezone the .49 acre property located at 817 N. Mt. Olive St. from R-2 (residential, medium) to R-4 (residential, multi-family), according to a city staff report. This will be the second reading of this ordinance, which has received substantial opposition from residents who live near the property since it was first presented to the planning and zoning commission during their June 12 meeting.

• The third reading of an ordinance that would amend city code to eliminate an incentive currently offered to industrial-scale energy users who own their own transformers, according to a city staff report. The incentive affords these customers a permanent five percent discount on the electric bill.

• The second reading of an ordinance that would rezone the 5.56 acre property located at 1996 E. Hwy. 412 from R-2 (residential, medium) to G-I (institutional), according to a city staff report.

• The second reading of an ordinance that would vacate an alleyway that runs east and west and is located on the 500 Block of West Tahlequah Street, according to a city staff report.

• The second reading of an ordinance that would allow for a code change requested by the city for its P-K (parks) zones, according to a city staff report. The code change was requested as under the current code, things such as constructing restroom facilities in the city's parks requires the approval of a significant development permit, which city staff referred to as "redundant and unnecessary."

• The second reading of an ordinance that would impose a citywide service fee to transactions in which credit and debit cards are used, for the purpose of offsetting rising costs associated with credit card processing fees, according to a city staff report.

General News on 09/16/2018

Print Headline: Board to decide city's 2019 health insurance provider Tuesday

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