‘Several large’ medical insurance claims result in ‘concerning’ Cedar Falls city fund deficit [Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa]

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Sep. 4—CEDAR FALLS — Several large medical insurance claims have led town administration to recommend about half the year-end surplus from the final fund be used to cover the resulting loss in its insurance fund.

The City Council will consider approving a resolution Tuesday night at its 7 p.m. meeting contained in the Community Center, 528 Foremost St., transferring $900,000 of its roughly $2.2 million surplus to assist offset a $1.3 million loss and “keep strong reserves” in town’s self-insured medical insurance fund.

“A serious concern continues to be the fund balance in town’s self-insured medical insurance fund,” said Finance and Business Operations Director Jennifer Rodenbeck in a memo Aug. 23 to the council concerning the employer-established fund assuming a financial risk for providing health care advantages to its employees.

City finance staff is within the midst of closing out the final ledger for the fiscal yr ending June 30, 2022, and hopes to “maintain a viable medical insurance advantages program,” based on the resolution.

The $2.2 million surplus was consistent with the $2.3 million from the previous fiscal yr surplus.

“We were fortunate in fiscal yr 2022 to have some revenues that exceeded budgeted amounts. These included hotel/motel taxes, COVID relief grant, and the receipt of the backfill funds,” Rodenbeck said. “As well as, we had areas where expenditures were lower than budgeted amounts. The numerous areas included recreation, engineering, parks, and public safety.”

The $900,000 transferred to the medical insurance fund leaves about $1.3 million in the excess, $328,333 from an Iowa Fitness Center Relief Program grant of federal COVID relief funds.

The resolution would authorize those funds be transferred to the recreation fund to assist pay for projects on the aquatics center or others involving recreation, based on Rodenbeck’s memo.

One other $595,874 is town’s annual backfill payment.

These payments make up for the revenue lost by cities, counties and schools when the state cut business and industrial property taxes in 2013.

That cash is being phased out, and the council previously requested it’s put aside for one-time capital projects.

Similarly, Rodenbeck’s memo said the remaining roughly $300,000 of the excess shall be transferred to the capital projects fund to “help offset any project that’s seeing increased costs as a result of inflation, or to make use of for a project identified as using General Fund Savings (GFS) on the CIP.”

“This remaining amount shall be used for a project to be specifically designated by the City Council through the goal setting and capital improvements process,” states the resolution.

That process begins at the top of the yr.

Moreover, at its 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting, the council will consider several other resolutions:

* Accepting a Surface Transportation Block Grant for as much as $2.9 million for the reconstruction of Foremost Street.

* Executing $1,000 lease agreements, each for up to a few years for usage of eight foot by 4 foot murals, which shall be installed on the underpass of the bridge by the intersection of Foremost and East First streets.

* Allowing for the demolition of the prevailing dwelling at 1224 W. twentieth St., and the development of a latest duplex as a replacement.

* Accepting a $49,143 bid from Iowa Flatworks Inc. for town’s annual sidewalk assessment program.

The meeting begins at 5:15 p.m. within the Community Center.

The Community Development Committee will learn more about an application for a Destination Iowa grant to assist fund projects in and across the Cedar River in Cedar Falls and Waterloo.

The Public Safety Committee will hear from Fire Chief John Bostwick concerning the response Aug. 18 to a structure fire on Orchard Hill Drive.

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(c)2022 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa)

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