Commissioners to work through conflicting budget projections in workman's comp rates

Moffat County commissioners hope to straighten out their worker's compensation rates at a meeting on Monday.

In the past couple of weeks, the commissioners have received conflicting reports about rate changes for the coming year.

The commissioners had heard that worker's compensation fees could increase as much as 17 percent next year.

That came as a surprise to Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele, who said he feels the county has a fine safety record and saw no reason for such a steep rate increase.

The only serious worker's compensation claim that Steele recalled during a phone interview the week of Nov. 10, was a road and bridge worker who broke his foot after falling from a motorgrader.

Moffat County recently introduced several new safety forms that departments must use. Once these forms have been used for one year, commissioners expect insurance rates to drop.

When the Craig Daily Press contacted Moffat County's insurance provider, Moffat Insurance Agency Inc., insurance agent David Schwerin said the 17 percent rate increase was "news to him."

During a phone interview on Friday, Schwerin refused to comment further on next year's insurance rates.

Schwerin will attend the meeting at 9 a.m. Monday to answer questions from the commissioners.

At the same meeting, Parks and Recreation Superintendent Steve Grandbouche will request $10,000 matching funds so the county can obtain a $50,000 Legacy Trails Grant, which will go towards improvements, such as extending gravel and adding benches to the Kiwanis Trail.

Currently, financing for the grant runs out in February. Grandbouche will seek permission to request an extension from the state, so that the funds, which are left over from work the city did on its bike trails last year, can be used by the county in the coming year.

Grandbouche said the county is also eligible for a $200,000 grant to extend a bike trail to the Moffat County Airport.

Transportation will be a theme at the commissioner meeting. The board will discuss the possibility of constructing an acceleration and deceleration lane on Highway 40 to the west of Craig.

The idea came up during general discussion at a previous meeting. The commissioners want to investigate how to begin the construction process now so that the project will be closer to completion in 3 to 5 years when they believe the lane will

be necessary.

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