Finance Committee reviews potential insurers for new train station

Finance Committee reviews potential insurers for new train

CARLILNVILLE (Nov. 16, 2017) – Mitch Newell of Diamond Bros. Insurance addressed the Carlinville Finance Committee regarding potential policies for the city’s insurance renewal, which will take effect Dec. 1. Of special importance to this decision was the coverage offered on the new Amtrak train station.

Newell provided four proposals for the committee to consider. “Insurance companies don’t like railroads,” said Newell. “Mostly the railroads hold the power when it comes to insurance agreements, so most companies just back away.” All four of the options shown would provide similar coverage of the station.

The city’s first option was One Beacon, their current provider. Newell discouraged this option because it now excludes streets and roads and failure to supply from coverage. The exclusion of streets and roads coverage could leave the city responsible if an accident occurred due to a pothole or lack of sufficient maintenance to the road. Similarly, without failure to supply coverage, the city would be responsible from any damages incurred from lack of city water or a similar service such as gas or electricity. In either case, if the city is responsible, the money is coming out of taxpayers’ pockets.

The second option was the Illinois Counties Risk Management Trust (ICRMT) which, according to Newell,  the city has used in the past. This option provides complete coverage. However, ICRMT is a trust and not an insurance carrier. The downside to that is with over 300 members, if there were to be any kind of statewide catastrophe such as a flood or earthquake, each member affected would be entitled to an equal take from the pot, until it was drained.

The final two options were Bliss McKnight with the Cincinnati Insurance Company for the property insurance and Bliss McKnight with Chubb for the property insurance. These options were the cheapest of the four offered. Though the Bliss McKnight Service is the same in both options, Chubb’s and Cincinnati’s services are a bit different. For one, Chubb covers the full cost of any building destroyed in the event of a mine collapse. Chubb also had many more restrictions than Cincinatti in its cyber quote, which covers hacking and similar cyber attacks and scams. The board voted to narrow the options to the two Bliss McKnight quotes, with a decision to be made at Monday’s council meeting.

The committee then discussed the 2018 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition conference, which is to be held at the end of October, “two to three days prior to the Rotary Halloween Parade” according to Mayor Deanna Demuzio. The conference will last two days and be held at Blackburn College. According to Demuzio it is “for all those that get involved with Route 66.” The conference is expected to bring 100 people to Carlinville for its duration. The mayor asked that the city pay $300 in dues for this organization, as has been done for the past three years. Alderman Beth Toon voiced concern that it may not be legal to spend city money on joining any organization. It was decided that City Attorney Rick Bertinetti would be consulted, and a final decision will be made at Monday’s meeting.

During the time for public comment, DL Whitlock of the 300 block of Oakland questioned the committee regarding the legality of cutting down trees which grow in the middle of the old — though not necessarily vacated — alley behind her home. Whitlock was unsure of the ownership of this alley, or if it was legal for someone to cut down trees on city property. Joe Direso responded by saying, “If the city owns the property, no they cannot.” He along with other members of the committee, suggested Whitlock check at the courthouse to be sure whether or not the alley had been vacated and who the correct owner of the property is.