Stafford Working to Improve Insurance Rate and Countywide Safety Standing by Next Year

By Victoria Ford | Dec 11, 2019

Stafford Township — According to the Stafford Township Safety Committee’s 2019 annual report, prepared by Administrator Matthew von der Hayden and accepted by way of resolution at the regular meeting of Dec. 3, Stafford ranks in the bottom five towns in the county in terms of best practices that minimize exposure to liability.

According to Mayor Greg Myhre, the bottom five towns effectively subsidize the top performing towns: “They get a discount, and we pay a surcharge.”

For the year 2019, Stafford is in compliance with the safety requirements of the Joint Insurance Fund, which considers towns “low performing” that demonstrate a 108 percent loss ratio over the previous three to five years. Myhre said Stafford exceeded that level in four of the last five years, between 2015-2018, the financial implication of which is a 3.6 percent insurance rate increase, totaling $40,300 for 2020.

The good news, he said, is as long as the safety committee continues to operate as it has in 2019, Stafford is on the right track to get off the increased insurance rate list by 2021.

The safety committee comprises various department heads: von der Hayden, Construction Official Bob Gaestel, Township Clerk Linda Martin, Recreation Director Betti Anne McVey, Fire Official Heidi Michel, Water/Sewer Superintendent Marcel Michot, Police Capt. Herman Pharo and Ptl. Chris Smith, Public Works Superintendent George Yockachonis Sr. and Sanitation/Recycling Foreman Robert Zeitler.

The JIF’s Safety Compliance Program requires the safety committee to meet four times a year, which it did in May, September, October and December.

Zeitler, the appointed safety coordinator and training administrator, coordinated all in-house training for township staff this year. The 2020 employee manual will contain a new controlled substances and alcohol use and testing policy. A new annual health/benefit fair was instituted, bringing together health and prescription providers from the town and the community and offering flu and hepatitis B shots to covered employees. Trainings were conducted for active shooter and cybersecurity events. The governing body has re-established the Employee Assistance Program. And proper documentation was put in place for the reporting of incidents to the town clerk.  —V.F.

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