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Health trust dissolution returns money to county and city coffers

Saturday, June 28, 2014 - Updated: 4:09 AM

By NICOLE ANTONUCCI

nicole.antonucci@recordernews.com

FONDA -- Dissolution of the Montgomery County Health Insurance trust will lead to the return roughly $1.8 million to the county and city of Amsterdam, officials said.

At a meeting in the county annex building this week, the trust board passed a resolution authorizing disbursement of excess funds in the trust reserve, which will be used to pay for outstanding claims.

County Treasurer Shawn Bowerman said $210,000 will be left in the reserve, which leaves an excess of $1.8 million to be divided between the county and the city of Amsterdam.

The county is scheduled to receive $1,338,000 while the city of Amsterdam will receive $549,000.

The resolution establishes a reserve to pay remaining creditors, liabilities and claims in connection with the winding down of legal and financial affairs; disburses any immediate surplus funds above the reserve amount to the members; and authorizes that if any funds are leftover in the reserve after all claims and liabilities have been paid, those funds will be disbursed to the members as well.

"This document is going to take care of all the money moving forward," attorney Kenneth L. Ayers of the Ayers Law Firm said.

Upon termination of the health trust at the end of the year, any remaining funds from the $210,000 will be disbursed between the members as well.

District 2 Legislator Thomas Quackenbush asked if there should be additional funds in the reserve in case of unforeseen payments.

"I know we have attorney fees set aside. Is there a chance that it could go over the amount?" he asked. "I don't want to come back later and we say that it was not enough. Once the money is disbursed, it's gone."

Bowerman said the reserve was more than enough to cover all remaining legal and financial affairs associated with dissolving the trust.

The dissolution of the health trust has been ongoing since February 2012 when the defunct county board of supervisors approved a resolution. Last year, a pending lawsuit held up the legal side of the dissolution.

Ayers said Wednesday the lawsuit has been settled and discontinued of record.

With the trust winding down affairs, Ayers said the only remaining step is to put a dissolution plan in place, which requires three public hearings and public notice.

"We have the plan. What we are working on now is a schedule or timeline for the events and putting them in the proper order," Ayers said.

Quackenbush emphasized that the goal is to be done by Dec. 31.

The board expects to officially adopt the dissolution plan and schedule the first pubic hearing during its next meeting in July.

     

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