Paula Gentry

Paula Gentry Upshur County Pct. 1 commissioner

Upshur County commissioners Wednesday agreed to hire a health insurance consultant to advise them so budget discussions this coming summer do not bog down with the same lengthy coverage debate that happened last year.

Questions about whether spouses of retirees would continue to be covered, prescription drug plans and other aspects pushed last year’s discussion into the fall.

During those months, a group of employees had sought their own adviser, and that’s whom commissioners agreed to hire Wednesday, Pct. 1 Commissioner Paula Gentry reported.

The consultant is Rachel Means of Employee Benefits Consulting of Tyler.

Gentry said Pct. 4 Commissioner Jay Miller, who made the motion to hire Means and EBC, had said a survey of employees and elected officials had come back overwhelmingly in support of hiring Means.

The court at its regular meeting Wednesday also opened two sealed bids from contractors hoping to tear up and rebuild the parking lot at the Justice Center on Titus Street. Gentry said the bids were turned over to the roads administrator, who will get with both contractors to iron out who is best for the project.

She said one of the bids was “a little over $100,000,” adding her support for a less ambitious renovation given that price tag.