Village considers raising health premium payments

LAKE GEORGE - In the future, village employees and officials may be making a higher contribution toward their health insurance coverage, if a proposal by Mayor Robert Blais is realized.

Monday, Blais suggested the village board consider raising the amount both elected officials and hired employees pay toward their health insurance to 20 or 25 percent of the premium.

Those elected or hired before 1988, including Blais, pay nothing, with the village picking up the entire premium. Those on the payroll between 1988 and 2002 or so pay 10 percent, and those joining the village more recently pay 20 percent.

The village board deferred on extending health insurance benefits to village firefighters as they have requested, noting that to do so would move the village into a less favorable insurance rating category of more than 50 insured participants, which would dramatically boost premiums.

Also at Monday's meeting, the board expressed surprise that an independent appraisal they requested for a plot of village-owned property on the shore of Lake George near Tahoe Motel was reported at $40,000.

The members of the Hill Drive Homeowners Association are interested in buying the plot, about 100 feet square, which once hosted a village water dept. pumping station, but now is primarily vacant, except for a picnic table.

The Homeowners' Association is now paying $4,000 per year for a 10-year lease, but they are now seeking to purchase the property.

Board members believed the lot had substantially more value, as it was appraised for $90,000 some years ago, and the town of Lake George is now assessing it at $147,000.

Blais said members of the Homeowner's Association had apparently been buying up strips of land surrounding the parcel, and that now it was landlocked, which may have lead to the property's dramatic decline in value, according to the appraiser.

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