By J.W. Schnarr
The Town of Vauxhall is moving ahead with an aid agreement involving the Canadian Red Cross, albeit at a reduced cost for insurance.
During their regular meeting on Jan. 19, Vauxhall council agreed to enter into the agreement with an amendment reducing their insurance from $10 million to $5 million.
Cris Burns, chief administrative officer, said administration had discovered an insurance issue within the agreement and that council could make an adjustment in order to save some money on the premiums.
Accounting clerk Mindy Dunphy informed council the agreement requires the Town of Vauxhall to carry up to $10 million in insurance, but that the total coverage amount was not set in stone and could be lowered in order to save money on insurance premiums.
“It says we have to have coverage for loss or injury, for Red Cross staff and volunteers,” she said.
Dunphy said administration had put a call in to their insurance company for information regarding premiums on that level of insurance but received no clear answer back. After calling around, however, Dunphy said administration learned other councils had reduced the level of insurance in order to go with more affordable premiums.
“We called our insurance provider this afternoon,” Dunphy said. “They said $5 million is realistic.”
Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips said the rates might not be much different for $10 million versus $5 million in insurance.
“Usually when you are up in this range, it doesn’t cost much for a few million in insurance,” he said. “But if you don’t need it, why do it?”
Some of the suggested services in the agreement could include preparedness services, such as public education, or training for disaster management personnel; and response services, such as family re-unification, shelter or reception centre management, and emergency lodging.
The fundamental principals of the Red Cross include humanity, borne of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, strives to prevent human suffering, protect life and health, and to ensure respect for human beings. The movement, based on volunteerism, aims for inclusion and works independently of any specific country.
“It’s gone back to the committee,” said Mayor Margaret Plumtree. “Everyone is on board with it at the committee.”
Following discussion, council approved the agreement with an amendment to lower the insurance.