By ERIC SCHAADT
STAFF WRITER

NORTH BALTIMORE — To meet federal health care standards, North Baltimore must offer medical coverage to more municipal workers, Village Council was told Tuesday.

Village Finance Officer Chris Kirk said the village has surpassed 50 full- and part-time workers.

That means the village is considered a “large-group employer” and must comply with the federal Affordable Care Act.

Kirk estimated that about five additional workers must be offered health coverage in 2017.

This will mean additional costs to the village, he said.

To reduce costs, council may consider changing its health care plan and/or increasing employee contributions.

Health coverage is offered to employees who average 30 or more hours a week.

In other matters, council is continuing to redefine its law dealing with door-to-door solicitors.

Current law contains no hour restrictions for peddlers.

A proposal would include hour limitations and licensing procedures.

“This simplifies it substantially,” Village Solicitor Chet Marcin told council. “Take a look (at the proposal) and let me know if you want any changes.”

Police Chief Allan Baer said five or six known groups solicit in the village each year, but other solicitors also appear at times.

Marcin said he will incorporate changes and present an ordinance at next week’s informal committee-of-the-whole session.

The issue drew council’s attention after complaints surfaced about peddlers arriving at doorsteps at late hours.

Separately, the search is under way for replacing Marcin, who is retiring as village solicitor at year’s end after more than 40 years in the post.

Village Administrator Allyson Murray said letters have been sent to Wood County attorneys, announcing the opening. Replies from lawyers are due by Nov. 30 and council wants to select a solicitor in December.

In other personnel matters, council hired Alexandra Johnson as a part-time police dispatcher at $8.10 an hour. A former intern as a police department dispatcher, she will work mainly daytime shifts.

Council also added Chris Snyder as a volunteer with the North Baltimore Fire Department.

Separately, Shannon Fisher from the Department of Jobs and Family Services informed council about NET Plus Transportation for Wood County residents.

The program provides non-emergency transportation for medical, dental and vision appointments.

It receives funds mainly through Medicaid and other federal dollars.

In other business, council:

  • Heard that a new communications tower at the municipal building should be completed this month.
  • Said leaf bags are available at the municipal building for residents. Bagged leaves are to be deposited at curbside.
  • Heard that a North Baltimore Chamber of Commerce beer-tasting event slated for Nov. 5 has been postponed.

Schaadt: 419-427-8414
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