The Payne County Budget Board approved the distribution of $20,138 of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds to individual county offices and departments at Monday’s regular monthly meeting.

The funds were received by Payne County in the second round of monthly reimbursements approved by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.

Oklahoma received $1.2 billion that is being distributed to cities and towns through a CARES FORWARD team utilizing a computer portal for local governments to submit applications for reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses.

In the first round of reimbursements, Payne County received $57,309, purchasing agent for the Payne County Clerk Kyla McCombs said. She submits applications for the county for reimbursement through the CARES Act funds.

Payne County received $7,260 in the third monthly allocation of CARES Act funds, but McCombs said those funds will not be distributed to individual offices and departments until they have been appropriated by the Payne County Treasurer.

In other business:

The Budget Board discussed questions on internal controls that were presented to the board by the Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector. The questions and responses are designed to assist the board in confirming that proper internal controls are in place for county employees. The Budget Board is comprised of elected county officials who administer the county general fund budget and make policy decisions involving county employees.

The board was presented a lengthy summary of options for employee benefits from Premier Consulting Partners, a consulting firm that identifies and negotiates insurance benefit packages for the county's approximately 224 employees.

After the presentation, the board voted to renew health insurance coverage with Community Care, increasing the employee deductible by $250, but saving the county 12.9% on insurance premiums.

County Clerk Glenna Craig voted against using Community Care noting that the company does not recognize Hillcrest Hospital in Cushing and Oklahoma Heart Hospital as network providers. The board approved telemedicine coverage through Teladoc allowing employees to have virtual doctor visits at no cost to the employee.

Dental coverage through Delta Dental was approved with no increase in premiums.

Life insurance coverage was continued through Symetra Life Insurance Company providing insurance for employees, spouses, and dependents. Vision plan coverage was changed to Standard Insurance Company providing the same coverage as the existing carrier but at a savings of $13.9% to the county.

Premier Consulting will have multiple meetings with county employees from October 12-16 for enrollment in the insurance plans.

Find Mark A. Moore on Facebook as Mark Moore SNP

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