Village looks to save on property insurance premium following higher appraisal

The village is looking to save on property insurance costs after an appraisal from its insurance carrier revealed a $2 million increase in the overall value of its buildings and contents.

During his annual presentation to the Village Board of Trustees on June 16, David Meager of Adirondack Trust Insurance said the value of all village buildings and their contents has increased from $4.7 million in previous years to $6.6 million. The majority of the increased value came from one building — the village sewer pump station, he explained.

As a result of the new appraisal, done by the New York State Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR), the village’s total premium for all coverages would increase in the new policy year by about $1,000, from $24,000 to $25,000. The new policy is set to renew on July 13.

The village joined NYMIR as its insurance carrier two years ago. NYMIR insures more than have of public entities in New York State.

To avoid premium hikes like this, some municipalities have opted to increase their deductible on new replacement coverage for buildings and contents due fire, weather damage, vandalism, etc.

The village’s deductible is $1,000. By increasing it to $5,000, Meager said, the village could save $1,700, which would actually decrease next year’s overall policy cost. The village has only had three claims since 2007, he said.

“That’s something to think about,” Meager said. “I wanted to get in here early so you’d have time to think it over.”

Mayor Rick Nelson asked village engineer Ed Hernandez to audit village buildings and their contents to see if there may be instances where they could be over valued and get back to Meager in coming weeks before the policy renewal date. The board would then decide whether or not to change its deductible.

In other action June 16:

  • Trustees discussed getting quotes for erecting new building signs for the fire department and village offices in time for the 150th anniversary in September and village Bicentennial in April, 2016.
  • The fire department was awarded a $2,500 Global Foundaries grant to install pump panel radio access with headsets in the department’s two biggest trucks. This will enable firefighters to communicate from outside the trucks (instead of having to enter the truck cabs) at a fire scene.
  • Trustee Judith Wood-Shaw announced the village had obtained another Global Foundaries grant totaling $1,500 to purchase picnic tables and benches for the new playground near the American Legion Post.
  • Trustee Timothy Campbell said the liner for the ice rink has been stored for the summer and the village will spread more sand and mulch at the playground near the American Legion Post.
  • Trustees discussed purchasing two additional backboards for the village basketball courts, increasing the number of hoops from two to four.
    Trustees passed a resolution to purchase five new fire hydrants from HD Supply Waterworks, Ltd, at a cost not to exceed $13,500.
  • Trustees authorized the village engineer to prepare bid documents for replacing the Hillside water tank instead of rehabbing the old tank. The new tank would be smaller, 139,000 gallons, but still meet the village’s needs in terms of water storage and firefighting capabilities. The cost of rehabbing the tank would be about $228,000, said Trustee John Murphy. The new tank would have a glass liner, not require repainting and only have to be serviced every 10-15 years. The new tank would cost approximately $200,000 and $25,000 to remove the old tank. “So the price comparison is a wash,” Trustee Murphy said. As part of this project, the village agreed to hire geotechnical engineer Daniel Loucks to do a “subsurface review” of the ground area in preparation for the new tank at a cost of $3,300.
  • Mayor Nelson said the village will now be purchasing its gasoline to run village vehicles from the Town of Stillwater, which will save the vlllage money.
    Trustee Shaw said the village has been asked by the Stillwater Library staff to plan the parade for the annual Harvest Festival in the fall.
  • The village will honor former Mayor Ernest Martin with a ceremony and cake for his years of service following the July 21 Board of Trustees meeting. The regular meeting will be held one hour earlier at 6 p.m. and the ceremony will be held at 8 p.m.