STRASBURG – The Town Council on Monday discussed a potential new long-term care program offered by the Virginia Retirement System.
The optional plan, which was reviewed during a council work session, would be an employee-paid system and there would be no cost to employers or to the town of Strasburg to offer it.
Amy Keller, who serves as the office and human resources manager for the town, said that the plan would be offered through Genworth, a life insurance company in Virginia, and would be voluntary. The plan would be open to employees and their family members, and the cost would depend on the employee’s age.
A few council members expressed concern over the plan because it may not benefit employees.
“Long-term care is not a simple conversation,” said Vice Mayor Scott Terndrup. “I have no problem with Genworth. It just concerns me that a private company, who is interested in selling this policy, is going to come in and talk to our employees. Obviously, they’re going to make it sound all rosy and shiny, and that’s going to be a diversion of people’s funds when they could be investing in different ways.”
Other council members did not have an issue with the policy as long was it was optional.
“We can just offer it, and if they don’t want it, they don’t have to take it,” said Councilwoman Kim Bishop. “It’s just an option, and I don’t see why we would stop offering options.”
The issue was tabled until more information was gathered.
Town Manager Wyatt Pearson also presented the proposed capital improvements plan to the Town Council. Council members discussed an item on the CIP: the construction of another water tower.
While the old water reservoir cover - which has since been replaced - was a driving factor in plans for another water tower, Pearson said that the tower would also help increase town water for fire flow in low pressure zones and save money when it comes to pumping water.
“It’s cheaper pumping water up to a water tower,” he said.
Strasburg Mayor Rich Orndorff Jr. said that the water model – an exercise performed by engineering firms to provide an overall evaluation of a water distribution system's effectiveness – that has already been budgeted for the 2019-2020 fiscal year will help dictate how important a second water tower in the area would be.
Pearson said that the water tower is not an immediate need.
Correction: This story has been updated. It originally stated incorrectly that Aflac is a long-term care provider.