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Placid pairs with county on workers’ comp

Village treasurer estimates it will save taxpayers $96,000

LAKE PLACID — This village will join the Essex County self-insurance plan to provide workers’ compensation benefits through a new provider, Public Employer Risk Management Association.

Lake Placid Treasurer Paul Ellis said the village would save approximately $96,000 by joining the county’s program.

PERMA is a workers’ compensation group self-insurance program for local governments and other public employers within the state.

The county’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on June 6 to allow the village to become a part of the county’s plan. North Elba town Supervisor and former Lake Placid Mayor Roby Politi proposed the resolution.

Essex County has worked with PERMA since 1997. The county’s insurance broker, Bob Boitras, said the idea of the village joining the county’s plan has been raised for many years. Until 2006, he said, it didn’t make sense for the village to join.

“It’s a great consolidation project, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” Boitras said.

“I think the numbers speak for themselves right now,” said Leah Demo of PERMA. “We are offering a significant savings, but we are also increasing services provided.”

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said the village’s current carrier had every opportunity to “sharpen their pencil” and “did as much as they could.”

“We will do our best to make sure you never have those problems ever again,” Demo said to Randall of the village’s former provider.

As part of its agreement with the village, PERMA eliminated its usual entry fee of $7,237. The new agreement also covers the village’s obligation to cover volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.

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