County dealing with insurance issue

FONDA – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors may amend a 2012 resolution that awarded a bid for liability coverage because the insurer is being dissolved.

Amsterdam town Supervisor Thomas DiMezza proposed a motion to suspend the rules during Tuesday’s full board meeting to amend a 2012 resolution that gave the county’s general liability and other insurance coverage to Hays & Wormuth of Amsterdam through 2013.

The contract pays up to $533,100 and can be renewed through 2016, according to the resolution.

But DiMezza told the board Hays & Wormuth is being dissolved – which the company indicated in legal notices last month. He said the new company would be called the Beacon Insurance Agency Group and include the agent serving the county, John Mancini.

DiMezza proposed the board amend the resolution to reflect the agency’s new name so the county could continue doing business with them.

Minden Supervisor Thomas Quackenbush questioned the legality of the amendment.

“The original resolution appointing or giving the work to Hays & Wormuth was after [requests for proposals] were circulated, and after those RFP’s were circulated we awarded it to Hays & Wormuth,” Quackenbush said. “Now, wouldn’t we have to go back to RFP in order to insert another name, two years later?”

County Attorney Doug Landon told Quackenbush the county should review the arrangement before making amendments.

“This was brought to my attention literally a couple of hours ago,” Landon said. “I wanted to look into the status of the current contract with Hays & Wormuth, which we currently don’t have available. If you’re going to take any action, I, of course, would recommend that the resolution contain the standard review and approval clause so that I can review it to make sure we’re not doing anything that violates the present arrangement that the county has with Hays & Wormuth.”

Quackenbush agreed with Landon.

“I would rather err on the side of having it right before we pass something, and if it’s right then by all means pass it,” he said.

St. Johnsville town Supervisor Dominick Stagliano said the resolution would come up at the Finance Committee meeting on Dec. 10.

“Why don’t we just defer it to the Finance Committee, because the correspondence I have here is to the extent that the county chooses to exercise the renewal option,” Stagliano said. “Hays & Wormuth may own the rights to provide the insurance under the option, and so we could be in a position where we have to pay them off, so why don’t we allow this to go to the Finance Committee and we can flesh all questions out and we can send it clean. That would be my recommendation.”

The board agreed with Stagliano.

DiMezza said Mancini would attend the Finance Committee meeting to discuss any questions with the board.