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Rec Commission sees health-care costs increase
Ball tournament expected to draw 2,000 to Great Bend
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The cost of employee health insurance at the Great Bend Recreation Commission is expected to increase 11 percent overall this year, Executive Director Diann Henderson told the GBRC Board of Directors on Monday. The board voted to renew the major health coverage for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
“Last June we budgeted for the increase,” Henderson said. The actual cost will depend on what options employees choose. They will have the same options as last year for a Blue Cross and Blue Shield policy. Employees pay 17 percent of the cost of their chosen health coverage plans, Henderson said.
The policies have remained virtually unchanged under the Affordable Care Act, but the law has affected the amount of paperwork that Henderson is required to do, she said. There are seven full-time employees, but throughout the year GBRC employs 160 people, including seasonal and part-time help. Each of them must be tracked.
“We qualify as a large employer,” she said. However, as the Affordable Care Act is phased in, more guidelines will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. “Next year, we may be a ‘smaller’ employer.”
The board also voted Monday to renew the liability insurance for one year with Conrade Insurance Group (formerly known as Goss Insurance). The cost will be $36,597, compared to $34,315 last year. This includes some new or increased coverage for employee practices liability and electronic data processing. The increases were recommended after an internal insurance audit.

Sports report
GBRC Sports Director Chris Umphres talked about the updated handbook provided to volunteer coaches for youth sports. The Recreation Commission requires coaches to be certified by the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. A year’s membership is $20, which is reimbursed by the GBRC and provides $1 million in coaching liability insurance. Coaches also undergo a background check, which is good for two years, he said.
Now much of the certification process can be handled online, and coaches will be given a website to access, Umphres said.

KCAC conference
The sports department is in the middle of drafting teams for summer baseball and softball, and is also gearing up for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball and softball tournaments, which will be held April 30 through May 3 at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
“This is a big deal for Great Bend,” Henderson said of the tournament.
It will bring approximately 2,000 people to town over four days, Umphres added.

Leisure programs
Leisure Program Coordinator Garet Fitzpatrick reported that applications are being accepted at the GBRC office, 1214 Stone St., for aides to assist with summer programs. The work can vary from five to 25 hours per week. Applicants must be at least 16 years old.
Fitzpatrick also reported that several programs were offered to students over spring break, although the baby-sitter training was canceled. Another class for baby-sitter training may be offered the summer.
The Walk Kansas fitness program going on now has 62 teams, Fitzpatrick said.

Special populations, seniors
Program Coordinator Megan Hammeke said bowling is the most popular activity offered to special populations, and senior citizens enjoy the Fit For Life classes and Tai Chi classes.
For the month of March, Henderson reported, GBRC overed 1,290.75 hours of supervised activities. There were 4,286 enrollments and 17,223 participants, of which 8,595 were spectators. This compares to 4,191 enrollments in March 2013.
Henderson also reported that she, Umphres and Hammeke traveled to Washington, D.C. for the NRPA Legislative Forum, and that Hammeke and Fitzpatrick recently set up a booth at the Fuller Brush employee health fair.