The Woodward News

November 13, 2013

Insurance change for landfill employees

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — County Commissioners tackled mostly routine issues Tuesday at its weekly meeting, which was moved from Monday to accommodate the Veteran's Day holiday.

However, commissioners approved a letter to the Employes Group Insurance Division (Health Choice) that the county will be terminating health coverage for landfill employees.

Landfill employees, who have historically been considered employees of Woodward County, will now be considered employees of the public trust, because the landfill is a self supporting, multi-county facility, serving four different counties, said District 1 Commissioner Tommy Roedell.

The landfill serves Woodward, Dewey, Harper and Ellis counties.

The decision was made in order to protect Woodward County, the site of the multi-county landfill, from lawsuits only directed at Woodward County, Roedell said.

"Those employees will now have coverage under the Oklahoma Public Employees Health and Welfare group, Roedell said.

The change will not affect any landfill retirees, Roedell said.

In other business, a citizen of Woodward County brought to the attention the latest in a string of communications between the Southwest Region of the Federal Aviation Administration and the City of Woodward regarding a parcel of land where the Juvenile Detention Center is located.

The citizen stated the issue calls into question the legality of the deed the county holds on the location.

According to Roedell, the issue is a disagreement between the City of Woodward and the FAA in the interpretation of agreements made between the two entities in some cases more than 40 years ago.

Roedell added that his office holds a legal deed to the property in question.