Study: County should invest $3.5 million in insurance trust

With interest rates low, board reviews its options

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 7:55 a.m. CDT

The Grundy County Board held a Bond Issue Notification Act (BINA) hearing at their regular meeting Tuesday night to discuss funding the county’s self-insurance program.

Representatives from Bernardi Securities, Inc., and Vezzetti Capital Management Securities, Inc., gave a presentation to the board that suggested the county issue $3.75 million in bonds for the Grundy County Insurance Trust.

Mike Vezzetti, of Vezzetti Capital Management, said an actuarial study of Grundy County advised the board inject $3.5 million into the trust this fiscal year to run the county’s insurance for 10 years into 2024.

“This $3.5 million includes catastrophes we know are going to happen but don’t know when,” Vezzetti said, adding that inflation has been built into that number.

The bond issuance of $3.75 million includes cost of issuance.

Board Chairman Ron Severson emphasized that the trust is not out of money, but that the board heard the presentation because interest rates are low right now.

The Grundy County Insurance Trust has been in use since 1989, and it functions like a “captive insurance company,” according to Michael Bowen, senior vice president with Bernardi Securities, Inc.
A captive insurance company insures only one company.

Board Member John Galloway, chair of the finance committee, said the Trust has been successful.
“It’s a good program,” Galloway said.

Vezzetti said the county has done a good job of managing risk, and that the county can save money by continuing to do so.

“You control your destinies by mitigating risk as much as possible,” Vezzetti said.

FEMA HERE TO HELP

There have been 195 applications for FEMA assistance in Grundy County, a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency said at the meeting.

Dave Stuflick, intergovernmental affairs representative with FEMA, gave a brief overview of the application process for disaster assistance and urged residents reeling from flooding this spring to take advantage.

“It’s a grant,” Stuflick said. “You don’t want to turn away assistance.”

Those interested can apply for aid, after which an inspector will come to the home to determine whether the applicant is eligible. If they are, they will receive a grant that can be used to repair or replace damages from the disaster.

“We will not make anyone whole,” Stuflick said. “This is not a sprint. It’s going to take some time.”

Stuflick made himself available for meetings with residents.

‘AN HONOR TO SERVE’

The board recognized Board Member Dave Boggs, who will retire at the end of the month.

He was presented with a gift of suspenders, which he is known to wear, and received a standing ovation from board members and audience members.

Board Chairman Ron Severson said he enjoyed working with Boggs.

“We have agreed and disagreed at times,” Severson said. “I appreciate his being here and we wish him the best of luck.”

Boggs, a Republican representing District 3, has been a board member since 2010 and served as chair of the Highway Committee.

He said it has been a pleasure to serve and that he has watched it move toward a less partisan board.

“It’s been an honor to serve on this board,” Boggs said.

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