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Parent honored for community service to town

Council discusses water system, computer model

Long-time Southbridge resident George Parent received a special award in appreciation for all of the work he has done for the town at Monday’s Town Council meeting. Adam T. Silva. (click for larger version)
April 12, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — George Parent received a special award at a Town Council meeting Monday, April 11, for the work he has done for the town in his lifetime.

"This man is Mr. Southbridge in my eyes," said Council Chairman Steven Lazo. "This gentleman has been on the Conservation Committee for 37 years. He has been an animal inspector, he uses his own truck during the summer months to go around watering plants. I see him all the time going around to different monuments taking down flags. He doesn't ask for much and gets not enough credit at all. This is very long overdue."

In other business, the council ratified the MIIA Health Benefits Trust Renewal Rates agreement by increasing it by 13.5 percent.

"Our experience before was that the insurance company was paying 80 cents on the dollar," explained Town Manager Christopher Clark. "Last year, they paid 99 cents on the dollar. They don't have the ability to even break even with that. There is usually a 10-percent minimum that they have to have in order to operate to cover things like administrative costs, so they didn't even have a chance. This year, when they set the rates, they had to include the 13.5-percent rate increase. The town pays 50/50, so if it's $100, they pay 50, plus the 13.5 percent on top of that. Then the employee pays 50, plus the 13.5 percent on top of that. Now everyone is paying the same amount."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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