The Town of Paonia is once again eligible for additional insurance coverage for losses due to crime almost five years after an embezzlement scheme was revealed.
At the Nov. 8 town board meeting, trustees considered optional insurance coverage options offered by the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA). Among the options considered were losses from equipment breakdown, excess crime, excess cyber, and occupational accidental death and dismemberment.
The town has coverage through CIRSA for all of these items, said interim town administrator Dan Dean. The board is being asked to consider additional coverage and costs.
Trustees passed on the additional occupational coverage, since it covers volunteers. They also passed on the additional equipment breakdown coverage, since the town doesn't have the type of "significant" equipment covered under the policy, said Mayor Charles Stewart.
Regarding cyber coverage, the town has $100,000 in coverage, said Stewart. They could increase coverage to $500,000, but considering current online exposure, the risk is fairly minimal.
When it came to the excess coverage of crime, trustees voted unanimously to spend $225 in 2017 for $500,000 of coverage. The town didn't have the excess coverage, "which would have been very much appreciated a few years back," when the embezzlement scheme was discovered, said Stewart. The town was insured for $150,000, but lost far in excess of that, said Stewart. Due to losses from the embezzlement, the town wasn't eligible for additional coverage for several years and recently became eligible.
At the meeting trustees also:
• Approved authorization for Mayor Stewart to sign easement agreements with landowners whose properties will be affected by construction of water delivery system upgrades, which is scheduled to begin this fall. Town attorney David Marek has already drafted the agreements and project bids are approved. The authorization will allow construction to begin sooner, said Dean.
• Passed a resolution authorizing assignment of Stewart, interim administrator Dean and town clerk Corinne Ferguson to the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) revolving fund agreement.
• Approved a liquor license renewal application for the Blue Sage Center.
The board also adopted a proclamation presented by HopeWest employee John Records, declaring November "Hospice and Palliative Care Month" in Paonia.