A debate over who should pay the insurance for equipment used by the Benham Power Board broke out in a meeting of the Benham City Council on Thursday.
According to members of the power board attending the meeting, the power board has received a quote from Harris Insurance Agency that is approximately $5,000 less than the quote given the city.
Mayor Shirley Dodd stated that the city, not the power board, owns the equipment in question.
“When was the last time you had the city of Benham’s insurance evaluated?” asked power board chairman Danny Quillen. “If it’s not been re-evaluated in some time, it’s gonna stay up if you’ve got vehicles that you’ve bidded off in the past that you’re still paying insurance on.”
Dodd said she was informed by an agent working for Harris Insurance that the power board cannot purchase insurance since they do not own the vehicles to be insured.
“If the city of Benham Power Board doesn’t own anything, then why should we pay any of the insurance?” asked Quillen.
Dodd said the power board should pay because they are being covered.
Quillen pointed out it would be beneficial for the power board to own the equipment.
“We want the option to cover it ourselves so we can save money,” said Quillen.
After some discussion concerning money owed to the power board from the city, tempers flared over alleged partial payments from the city on the electric bill.
“If a resident pays partial, we cut them off,” said Quillen. Dodd stated that she understood the board’s policy, but the power board should try to help the city.
According to Quillen, the city should pay its bills.
“That’s what I’m trying to do,” said Dodd.
After some discussion, Quillen summed up the board’s position.
“We want to get to the point financially where we can take care of thunderstorms, snowstorms and also be able to help the city when we can,” said Quillen. “But we cannot get to that point as long as people keep not paying their bills and bickering and not letting us save money.”
The council took no action on the matter.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com