Credit will offset most of health insurance hike for Laconia schools

LACONIA — School District Business Administrator Ed Emond told members of the Budget and Personnel Committee last night that the 2014-2015 health insurance budget will go up by 2 percent.

Emond said the increase from insurance underwriter School Care — a Cigna Insurance product — was contractually capped at 10 percent but the district qualified for what amounts to an 8 percent credit toward its 2014-2015 premiums.

He explained the credit stems from the recent Local Government Center-related ruling that caps the amount a company that insures municipalities and school districts can hold in reserve.

Although the Laconia School District does not use LGC as its insurance carrier, the principal established by the recently adjudicated lawsuit applies to all municipal insurers.

In other news, Emond told the committee that the school's so-called educational adequacy grant from the state was reduced by $125,000 for the 2013-2014 year, meaning the district has to absorb the hit from other budget lines. He said the contingency line had $25,000 in it and the rest of the money comes from various savings in other line items, including transportation and fuel, salary lines from all the schools, and interest and principal on debt.

Emond explained the $1 million bond for the Huot Technical Center Project that was approved by the Laconia City Council last year was approved late in the fiscal year so the $75,000 budgeted for principal and interest for this year is unnecessary.

The first payment on the bond — $50,000 in principal and $26,800 in interest — is due July 1, 2014 or the beginning of the next fiscal year. He cautioned members that the $76,800 must be budgeted for 2014-15.