Russell Gardens officials authorize insurance policy tweak, pipe repair

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Russell Gardens Mayor Steven Kirschner, as pictured at a previous meeting. (Photo by Joe Nikic)

Russell Gardens village trustees voted to modify a 20-year-old resolution regarding medical insurance for retirees on Thursday, fixing it so individuals would be covered by individual plans rather than family ones.

“The resolution that we passed basically said we’re going to provide family plan coverage when in fact some of the retirees that would be covered with this would only need individual,” Mayor Steve Kirschner said. “So I contacted Peter Mineo, who is our village attorney, to modify our resolution so that we are not paying for a family plan if the retiree who is covered only needs an individual plan.”

The change, Kirschner said, only affects people hired prior to 1997 who have worked in the village for 25 years or more- meaning three employees “potentially could be covered by it.”

This law does not apply to those in the civil service, who have not had a contract with the village for over a decade because years could pass between interactions with union leaders, Kirschner said.

“But we treat the crew and our village clerks as if there was a contract,” Kirschner added.

In unrelated village business, officials also approved a resolution allowing the mayor to enter into a contract with “the lowest responsible bidder” to repair the village drainage pipe from Winsley Drive that goes into county water for a price not to exceed $20,000.

“Things always come up and I want to be able to do this while the weather is still nice and we don’t have firm prices,” Kirschner said.

New village signs were also installed along South Middle Neck Road, about a year after officials first expressed interest in doing so, according to Chris Blumberg, the village clerk-treasurer.

At the next board meeting on Dec. 7, trustees will present the 2018 budget and tax rate. State Sen. Elaine Phillips will also attend to discuss issues the village and residents may have regarding grants or legislation.

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Janelle Clausen is a reporter with Blank Slate Media covering the Great Neck peninsula and Town of North Hempstead. She previously freelanced for the Amityville Record, Massapequa Post and the Babylon Beacon. When not reporting, the south shore native can usually be found buried in a book, playing video games or talking Star Wars.

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