County will stick with current health insurer to qualify for $225k refund

LACONIA — The Belknap County Commission has decided to stick with Health Trust, its current insurer, to provide health insurance coverage for county employees.
A key factor in the Wednesday decision was a $255,000 rebate/refund which the county is receiving from Health Trust which it would lose if it shifts to a different insurer.
Commissioners opened bids for the health insurance contract on April 1 from Health Trust, which offers a Matthew Thornton Blue plan, and New Hampshire Interlocal Trust, which was formed in 2012 and which partners with Harvard Pilgrim as an insurance underwriter.
Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton), said that the said that the two proposals are fairly comparable but any change from the current insurer would have to be negotiated with the four unions which represent county employees.
He said that he favored staying with the current insurer, even though the NHIT plans cost slightly less than those provided by Health Trust, because the refund makes Health Trust less expensive on the bottom line..
Commission Chairman Dave DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said ''there's $255,000 on the table which is important to collect'' and in support of staying with Health Trust.
Commissioners approved a four-year lease agreement for four new 2015 Ford Interceptors which will cost the county $43,040 per year and approved of the disposal of four county vehicles, two Ford Crown Victorias with mileage of 116,573 and 90,295 belonging to the Sheriff's Department, and two Crown Victorias with mileage of 186,214 and 95,241 belonging to the Corrections Department, through the state surplus auction.
Also approved was a request from the N.H. Bureau of Court Facilities, which leases space in the Probate Court area at Belknap County Superior Courthouse, for a modification of the space by adding a door and and a wall in a shared hallway to improve security and limit the interaction between court employees and the Probation and Parole Office.
All costs of the project will be paid for by the Bureau of Court Facilities while the work will be overseen by the Belknap County Maintenance Department.

Young man wanted for theft turns himself in

LACONIA — Police arrested Justin Mitza, 19, of 28 Spring St. on Wednesday and charged him with one count of conspiracy to commit theft.

Mitza came to the Police Department on his own after being informed officers wanted to talk to him about some recent car and outbuilding thefts.

Police said Mitza admitted driving the car involved in the thefts and participating in them.

He was released on $1,500 personal recognizance bail.

The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252.


Lakeport area thefts being investigated

LACONIA — City police are asking for the public's help in solving a number of thefts from automobiles and outbuildings in the Lakeport area.

To date police said five residents have reported someone has rummaged through their vehicles and two residents reported some one has rummaged through their garages.

Police have spoken with area residents and have seen signs of suspicious behavior but have been unable to locate any other victims.

Det. Sgt. Thomas Swett said a number of leads are being investigated and at least one arrest could be forthcoming.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.