County hit with a 43-percent insurance increase 

Board of County Commissioners Chair Newt Stephens announced the County has received a 43% rate increase in its ACCO-SIG (Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma-Self Insured Group) property and liability insurance premium, which makes the yearly premium $751,936.

The Board discussed finding other insurance, however, the County was given very little notice of the increase and the premium is due July 31st, 2023.

Stephens told the Board that utilizing the deductible fund has impacted the increase by $92,000.00. He also stated that ACCO said the overall increase was due to litigation and claim costs. “We are one of the five highest claimants. I think we need to explore our options and see what we can save. I have spoken to an insurance broker and I am exploring another option of maybe becoming self-insured. I still need to do some research on the liability side of this,” said Stephens.

advertisement

Warner emphatically stated: “This is no way to do business.”

“We moved to ACCO twelve years ago and there was a cost savings,” Stephens said, “but I do think it is time that we look at other options.

The payment due date of July 31, 2023, was discussed and we cannot make a move now,” Stephens continued. “I have had legal review the terms and if we make a payment we are locked in for a year. And we cannot go without insurance now to find someone new, so I think we start now for next year’s options.”

After much discussion, the board finally passed a motion to authorize a one-time payment of $751,936, which would save the county 10% versus making two payments.

In other business, the commissioners discussed but took no action on issuing a Disaster Emergency Proclamation for Creek County, Oklahoma due to storm events beginning June 17, 2023. The item was tabled last week because of OG&E cutting trees and leaving the debris in the right-of-way. At the time, Stephens felt if the declaration was issued, it would give OG&E carte blanche to continue the practice. He stated in the July 2nd meeting he has continued to work on this item with the State Emergency Management Coordinator and the Attorney General. “The storms were big enough for the state to qualify for federal funding and the county could file on the state side and also would be eligible for funding as well,” Stephens said. “I still have not found anywhere that it gives them the authority to leave limbs and debris to be removed by the county at their expense.”

Commissioner Leon Warner said he is having some of the same issues within District #2. “We do not have enough manpower to be out cleaning up what they have left behind with the

vegetation removal,” he said. Stephens said the board should wait on signing this until more information is obtained.

Much of the remainder of the meeting involved the board signing and renewing contracts. For a full list, see the minutes in the Herald legals section.

The BOCC meets every Monday at 9 a.m., in the upstairs meeting room of the Collins Building.

Did you enjoy this story? Consider subscribing to the Sapulpa Times to help keep us telling all the stories happening in the town that we love. Subscribe today for just $4.99 a month.