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Safety record saves city money
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 The City of Great Bend will save some money on its workers compensation insurance, the City Council learned Monday night.

Due to a low number of claims, the city’s experience modifier, or MOD rate, has dipped. This is the number based on previous loss experience workers’ compensation insurance carriers use to adjust annual premiums.

Because of this, the city received discounts from its insurance carrier totalling $90,000 off its $228,000 annual premium, bringing the total to $138,000, City Administrator Howard Partington said.

Each year carriers report a businesses’ class code, payrolls and losses for the last five years to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, with the exception of a handful of states that have their own calculating agencies. These agencies use three years of data ending one year prior to the effective date of the rating period. For example, if it were calculating a 2015 rating it would use the years from 2012-20014. 

If a business is at the industry average, the Experience Mod is a 1.0. If the experience is 20 percent better then average the Experience Mod would be a .80 or 20 percent worse 1.20.

The City of Great Bend’s rate is .74.

The insurance was one of the topics addressed by Partington. Other topics included:

Police Department

• On Dec. 7, members of the Police Department participated in “Santa’s Workshop” at the City Auditorium.

• Officer Jefferson Davis and other members of the department conducted several more D.A.R.E. graduations. This completes our various D.A.R.E. graduations for this year.

• On Dec. 10, Chief Cliff Couch assisted Garden City in its search for a new police chief by sitting on one of the boards in their selection process.

Public Works

• Sanitarian: 733 year to date complaints, 11 new complaints (seven by citizens and four by staff), 16 complaints completed by citizens, two abatement notices sent and three vehicles brought into compliance.

Fire/EMS/Inspection/Code Enforcement: 

• Results from the Insurance Service Office analysis conducted in 2015 came in for the City of Great Bend and it was able to maintain the same rating. They have made some changes in their requirements and the current rating is a 3/3x. We will be reviewing the results when looking for future improvements.

The ISO rating is based on such things as water supplies and communications. The scale goes from 1 being the best and 10 being the worst.

• Bids were opened for the purchase of a new ambulance in 2016. A committee is currently reviewing the low bid.

• City Inspector Lee Schneider is reviewing plans for a fire alarm system at the AT&T-Barton County Communications building, 1300 Stone.


• City Clerk Amit Patel, Partington, and Community Coordinator Christina Hayes continue to work and brainstorm about the shift for the Convention and Visitors Bureau staff to become city employees. They met with motel owners last week and found support for invigorating the board with new ideas and projects. 

• Hayes met with the June Jaunt communities. This is the fifth year of the June Jaunt which is set for June 3-5. This year’s theme will be “All American” and the committee of communities will continue to work together for determination of future collaborations. 

• Retailers met for the December Retail meeting to determine the 2016 Calendar of Events.