Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Council approves FlexShare benefit plan for employees


Employees of the Town of Pine Bluffs will be able to add a flexible spending account to their list of benefits during the current open enrollment period. Town council members unanimously approved the plan, contingent on participation of no less than 25 percent of the town’s employees.

The FlexShare plan allows employees to bank pre-tax paycheck dollars which can be used toward medical, dental and eye and hearing expense, prescription drugs procedures, services and therapies, as well as licensed daycare expense.

Town Treasurer Kim Patterson stated that employees who participate in the plan will be required to bank at least $50 per month, or $600 a year minimum, and will receive a VISA card they will be able to use to pay providers and for prescriptions. The cards will be valid at drug stores and other retailers who dispense prescription medication.

She stated that this plan encourages employees to invest pre-tax dollars to be used at a later time for medical expenses, and made a point of stating that the money can be used to pay for daycare/childcare, as long as the provider is licensed. This benefit will help town employees who will no longer be receiving free daycare as a benefit to save money for future expenses.

Councilman Mark Fornstrom stated that he would like to make sure there is at least a 25 percent participation rate before Patterson begins writing policy.

The cost to the Town to administer the plan could be as much as $1,254 if 100 percent of employees participate, or as little as $162.50 if only 25 percent take part.

Fornstrom moved that the council approve the FlexShare plan, which will be administered by BlueCross/BlueShield, and was seconded by Councilman Alan Curtis with unanimous approval.

The council also approved Resolution No. 2015-13, which amended the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year budget to allow for the transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Attorney Fee Expense account.

The Town of Pine Bluffs received a bill from the State of Wyoming for expenses in defense of civil action 14-CV-51, involving Belle Helms, a former employee of the Pine Bluffs Police Department, and plaintiff in the case.

The Town of Pine Bluffs was billed $8,650.11, and Councilman Tom Mohren asked if there would be additional expense, and whether Helms will be appealing her case to a higher court. No one was able to answer the question about whether there would be further appeals, but Patterson stated that state statutes require Pine Bluffs to pay up to a maximum of $10,000, and that if the case should again be appealed, she felt the Town of Pine Bluffs would be billed for the difference between the $8,650.11 on the current bill, and the cap of $10,000, which would be approximately $1,349.89.

Helms took her appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

In other business, Patterson reported that the Town of Pine Bluffs has received a $50,000 grant from the Wyoming Business Council for the North Well Land Planning project. Councilman Fornstrom remarked that there are several campers still on the streets of Pine Bluffs, which will make snow removal difficult, particularly on Simpkins Street, and they should be stored elsewhere for the winter.

The next meeting of the Pine Bluffs Town Council will be Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.


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