WARNER ROBINS -- City Council members voted unanimously for a $45,000 contract to find ways to save on workers’ compensation Monday -- just a few minutes before a falling city flag struck City Attorney Jim Elliott.
Part of the contract with Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services is to find and prevent avoidable injuries. The city flag fell at a previous meeting, too. Elliott was not injured.
City Council member Clifford Holmes Jr. said Gallagher has a track record that makes him think it will meet its goals of at least 25-percent savings, which in recent years would have saved about $131,000 on average.
Holmes told The Telegraph that city officials talk a lot about turning the lights off when they leave a room, but they haven’t spoken as much about avoiding workplace hazards.
Over four years, the city spent about $2.1 million on workers’ compensation losses. Most of that money, about $1.35 million, came from 44 incidents involving muscle strains.
Gallagher’s contract also involves shopping around the city’s workers’ compensation business to more insurance companies.
Separately, the City Council also voted unanimously to allocate $35,000 for streetlights. That money had not been budgeted. City Clerk Alton Mattox said a former employee had led some staff members to believe about $100,000 in sales tax money was remaining for streetlights, from an allocation of $193,000. That money isn’t there.
“Right now, we don’t have any money for anybody to say yea or nay” to new lights, Mattox told City Council members. He had recommended $50,000.
Money for the streetlights and the workers’ compensation insurance work will come out of the city’s general fund.
Also Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to annex parcels around Long Street as well as the road itself. The city owns all the newly annexed land, and in some cases has had it for more than two decades, county records show.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.