It’s nearing crunch time for local libraries as the deadline approaches for health insurance under the new healthcare laws.

Last night, the Dubois County Contractual and Jasper Public Library Boards continued their ongoing debate surrounding plans for the library and health insurance for its employees in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) implementation.

Board attorney Bill Shaneyfelt informed both boards that during a recent meeting, the library board’s personnel committee proposed a plan under which the libraries would reimburse employees up to a specified amount to get their own insurance however they wish, such as through the public health insurance exchanges. Opinion on the board was not in favor of this and the issue was sent back to the personnel committee for review of other options.

Shaneyfelt says the issue surrounds whether providing such a reimbursement would be in violation of the ACA. He says library employees will have to explore their options as the deadline to have insurance approaches:

Shaneyfelt says the ACA has had an impact everywhere, including from his viewpoint as an attorney:

Shaneyfelt also informed the board that the plan changes would affect 18 employees in the library system, including 12 at the Jasper library.

In additional business last night, both boards heard about the completion of repair work at the libraries. The contractual library board was informed by board president Kathy Tretter that repairs to the patio wall at the Ferdinand library are now completed. Meanwhile, Jasper library board president Bill Hewitt reported that the curb and front step work at the Jasper library are also finished. Both boards additionally approved the annual committment for the library system to join the statewide internet consortia for the libraries.

In final notes, the Jasper library board opened discussions on the possibility of installing video cameras at the library annex building. Hewitt stated that the cameras would be put in place for security purposes at the building.