Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 23, 2014

Legislature looking into single, countywide health plan for municipalities

Niagara Gazette — The Niagara County Legislature is expected to vote at a special meeting Tuesday to take part in a feasibility study of creating a single health benefits consortium for employees in all 21 local governments in the county.

The meeting, announced Friday, is to be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the legislative chambers of the county courthouse, 175 Hawley St.

If the resolution passes, Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane, said the action wouldn’t commit the county to join a consortium. The county would be agreeing only to provide the data a consultant would need to perform the study and to appoint someone to serve on an ad hoc committee overseeing the study. 

The goal is to see if offering health insurance jointly could save money, said Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane. And the creation of a consortium could be beneficial for property taxpayers in another way, too. Syracuse said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is requiring some shared services projects for local governments if their property tax increases are to be rebated to residents by the state in 2015. A health consortium could meet that requirement.

“We could kill two birds with one stone,” Syracuse said. “It could save some dollars and meet the shared services requirement.”

The meeting was called for Tuesday, because the next business meeting for the Legislature isn’t until Aug. 6, said Chairman Bill Ross, C-Wheatfield.

Ross said he’s interested in looking into a countywide health consortium because the financial challenges aren’t going away anytime soon.

“Revenues aren’t going to increase; I’m even worried about sales tax,” he said. “Costs keep going up though... you can only close down so many Mount Views. We have to help ourselves.”

Ross said the other municipalities need the county to participate because it has almost as many employees as all the municipalities combined. And because state law says no health consortium may be formed unless at least 2,000 employees are covered.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results