It's costing the Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority more to pay for an insurance package next year covering workers and materials, but the increase doesn't impact the cost for customers paying water and sanitary bills.
On Wednesday, the authority authorized its director of finance, Jonathon Baker, to pay the insurance companies $210,000 for the flood and workers' compensation insurance package - an increase of 16 percent more than what was paid this year, or $30,000.
According to Baker, the increase will have no impact on the customers of the authority.
"All of the revenue we get comes from rate-payers to cover operating expenses, but the insurance package goes into effect Jan. 1 and we already announced a no-rate increase for the year," Baker said. "It doesn't raise rates, but it takes it from our operating revenue."
As the authority continues to move forward with its upgrades at the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant the value of the plant grows and that increases the coverage costs for insurance, Baker said.
"We have more to insure and more value," he said.
Coverage to protect the plant and equipment at any of the authority's properties from floods costs $166,000 through one agency while the workers' compensation portion, through a separate company, costs $44,000.
"We've had two 100-year floods in the last three years," Baker said, explaining to authority board members why he suggested they continue to pick up flood insurance. The authority did not have to write any claims for flood damage, he said, but there have been claims for workers' compensation.
"We had a few shoulder injuries filed under workers' compensation," he said. A few years ago, the authority's insurance paid for one serious back injury claim, said Doug Keith, authority executive director.
The increase in workers' compensation is due primarily to additional employees on the payroll, Baker said.
In addition, insurance companies around the country are claiming they must charge higher premiums due to the flood damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in October, which has led to increased costs associated with flood insurance for municipalities and municipal authorities.