Council briefs: benefits, Giant Solutions, controller’s report

Council members discussed switching to the Garvin Group as their employee benefits broker at an Insurance Committee meeting on Tuesday. The agreement with the current broker, Benetech, is due to expire at the end of this month. Representatives from the Garvin Group previously presented their services before the Common Council on May 7th. Garvin Group’s proposal came in costing slightly less than Benetech’s, but also said they could provide claim auditing services which they predicted could bring in anywhere from $60,000 to $70,000 back to the city. According to Alderman Ron Barone, representatives from the Garvin Group recently met  with himself, Mayor Ann Thane and Controller Matthew Agresta. Mayor Thane was not present at Tuesday’s meeting, however Barone and Agresta said they had not heard any objection from her so far.

Later, the common council approved a resolution 4-1 authorizing the mayor to sign “broker of record” letters which would be necessary to go ahead with the switch. Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler cast the no vote.

Jody Zakrevsky, Executive Director of AIDA, gave an overview of the types of funding the agency was working to secure for various businesses in the city. Zakrevsky asked the council to approve a resolution to allow them to administer a Small Cities Grant from the NYS Office of Homes and Community Renewal to Giant Solutions LLC. According to their website, Giant Solutions specializes in wireless communications systems. According to Zakrevsky, the company is building a new headquarters at the Clock Tower Building on Prospect Street and will be hiring 3 new employees.

Pictures of the headquarters under construction can be seen on the company’s Facebook Page

Controller Matthew Agresta reported that with only one month left in the fiscal year, the city has only spent 67% of its budgeted expenses. He said that city revenues so far amounted to approximately $27,024,000, while total expenses have amounted to approximately $20 million. He reported that according to the most recent bank statements, the city has 8.7 million total in its accounts, including money set aside for capital projects, and excluding accounts related to medical or insurance benefits.

“We’re not spending wildly over what’s been budgeted,” said Agresta.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.