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Work session covers changes to affect insured

By Kaitlin Mayhew -- kmayhew@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- Council had a mostly favorable discussion at its Monday night work session regarding potential changes to the insurance carrier that provides support for families of employees who die in the line of duty.

The Virginia General Assembly established a new Line of Duty Act Fund last year that passed these costs from the state to local governments.

The insurance provides support in the form of funds and continued insurance coverage to families of police officers in Strasburg.

Dottie Mullins, director of finance, said that the funding in regards to other public safety employees is covered by the county.

Localities have the option of staying with the Virginia Retirement System or switch to the Virginia Municipal League.

Strasburg remained with the VRS policy in 2012. However, with the rate more than doubling in size for 2013, Mullins said she recommends switching to VML for the coming year.

The cost for 'line of duty' insurance with VRS would jump to $474 from $234 for each employee in public safety in 2013.

The VML policy costs $290 per employee.

A few council members voiced concern about the fact that once they switched providers, they could never again be covered by VRS.

"The word 'irrevocable' is bothersome," said Councilman Don Le Vine.
Councilman Bob Baker agreed.

"Do we know for sure that VML is not at some point down the line going [to] increase premiums?"

At this time, according to Mullins, VRS and VML are the only options that provide this coverage.

Despite the discussion, council decided to move forward with drafting the resolution.

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