Bad, bad news Utilities director Bob Disch looks at added expenses for next year By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT (firstname.lastname@example.org) POSTED: November 20, 2009 EAST LIVERPOOL - With the cost of employee health insurance sky-rocketing, the Board of Public Utilities Thursday heard some "bad, bad news" from Utilities Director Bob Disch. Disch told the board that 2010 insurance premiums are expected to increase by 35 percent, which will cost the water department an additional $48,000 and the sewer department another $24,000 next year. In the water department, for example, the increase exceeds the entire amount budgeted in the capital improvement line item. "This is bad, bad news," Disch said, saying these increases were not factored into the 2010 budget for either department. "This will impact next year's operation in a big way," Disch said, explaining he will have to move money between line items to make up for the increase. Currently, employees pay about 30 percent of the $1,500 per month cost for a family plan, or $500. The premium increase will mean an additional $188-190 per month out of both the employees' and city's pockets each month, Disch said. We work to sustain the insurance industry, not to house, cloth, nourish, educate and otherwise provide for our families anymore. Why would anyone want to derail reform when such a crisis is real?