BEVERLY - The Fort Frye Local school district will be able to save at least a quarter of a million dollars over the next 12 months while reducing its insurance premiums.
The district, which is self-insured, was able to reduce premiums for family plans by 7.7 percent and individuals by 15.4 percent thanks to several "good years" of claims usage, Treasurer Melcie Wells told board of education members during Thursday's meeting at Beverly-Center Elementary School. That will save the district approximately $125,000 in calendar year 2013.
The district will also offer a "premium holiday" in January, resulting in another savings of $125,000, without jeopardizing its self-insurance fund.
"This is a plus of about $250,000 to the general fund," Wells said, adding that that savings was not anticipated in the five-year forecast filed in October.
Superintendent Tom Gibbs noted one of the companies the district works with on its insurance said a larger discount was possible. However, the district will assess in July whether the savings projected were realized. If so, another premium holiday month could be offered, saving another $125,000.
"We're playing it safe," he said.
The district is projected to be in deficit spending for the next two years, while still maintaining a positive cash balance.
Because the district would be starting from a lower insurance cost, the amount spent in subsequent years would likely be lower than what was anticipated in the forecast, which included 15 percent increases each year, Gibbs said.
Wells praised the work of the insurance committee, which includes district employees, for helping to realize the savings.
"I think you guys (have) done an excellent job," board member Charlie Schilling said.