Commissioners opt to spend money to recover money

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

County leaders decline terrorism-insurance coverage

TELL CITY - Perry County commissioners agreed at a regular meeting Monday to spend $3,420 to recoup approximately $27,000 next year.

They approved the renewal of a three-year contract with Malinowski Consulting Inc. of Carmel to recover "indirect costs" associated with certain grant programs.

Founder Charles Malinowski said in a proposal letter to the commissioners the county operates a number of grant programs for which state and federal agencies provide reimbursement.

"In the mid-1970s, the federal government established rules by which local government would be reimbursed for administrative (and) support costs associated with (their) operation," he wrote. A "cost-allocation plan" he provides "has become an essential tool that enables Perry county to recover the indirect costs of operating these programs."

Malinowski founded his company in 2004, and boasts at his Web site of recovering more than $4 million for Indiana counties.

He explained he researches and documents costs such as wages and fringe benefits of county workers who administer grant programs and works with state and federal officials to ensure they receive everything they need to reimburse the costs.

"We get really good service from Chuck," County Auditor Connie Berger told the commissioners. She added that county attorney Chris Goffinet had reviewed the contract and found it to be in good legal order.

The commissioners opted for a three-year contract at $3,420 per year over a one-year contract priced at $3,600.

In other business, the owner of Franzman Insurance said county liability insurance will cost 9 percent less this year than last.

In discussing options offered for next year, County Commissioner Jody Fortwendel asked why the county didn't choose to include terrorism coverage this year.

Commissioner Gary Dauby said he doesn't want it because terrorism-related claims have to be certified at several levels of government and cover only international, not domestic terrorism.

Pete Franzman, also president of the county council, said the coverage would add $1,196 to the $68,189 annual premium.

"I know you do business in other counties," Fortwendel told Franzman. "Do they take it?"

"Generally, they don't," Franzman replied, explaining acts of terrorism are excluded from the main policy "and this buys it back." He declined to recommend for or against the additional coverage, but noted a terrorist incident is possible.

Under the impression Fortwendel was about to offer a motion that would have included the terrorism coverage, Dauby said he wanted to go on record as not wanting it and wouldn't vote. He did vote, however, after Fortwendel made a motion to accept the policy without the additional coverage.

The commissioners also reappointed Don Etienne and Dr. Joe LeClere to the Perry County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees and Evelyn Adams, Ed Dickman, Allen Krueger, Joe Stuber and Dr. William Schoene to the Perry County Health Board.