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Huntington grapples with soaring insurance costs

HUNTINGTON — The proposed 2016-17 budget for the city of Huntington is relatively flat but it is not without its challenges, and none are more prevalent than the soaring costs of insurance.

 During Huntington Mayor Steve Williams’ state of the city address Tuesday, he said projections indicate that insurance costs could increase 40 percent in the next year, creating a “hole” in the budget.
 The insurance line makes up property and casualty, workers’ compensation and health care for close to 700 people, including current and retired employees.
 The mayor’s proposed $48.6 million budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year allots $10 million for the insurance line, which is only a $5,033 increase from the previous fiscal year.
 Although insurance costs for the next fiscal year could total upwards of $14 million, Williams said strategically and businesswise he could not plug that number into the budget…

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