St. Pauls tweaks policy on injuries

First Posted: 3/11/2011

ST. PAULS — The town Board of Commissioners approved a change to the town’s personnel policy on workmen’s compensation at its monthly meeting Thursday that is designed to give the town another layer of protection from frivolous lawsuits.

The change requires that any injury suffered by a town employee while working be reported immediately.

“The fear was that we would receive frivolous claims,” said Stuart Turille, town administrator. “It opens the town up to mischief.”

To illustrate the point, Turille gave the example of someone getting hurt and claiming that an incident at work caused it, even though the injury might have occurred previously.

The updated policy states that employees who become injured on the job should immediately report it to a supervisor and seek medical attention. The supervisor should then report the claim to the town office. Also, a form must be filled out detailing the incident.

Turille told the board that the town had received two workmen’s compensation claims this year. Both claimants sought legal action against the town.

In other action Thursday, the board:

— Approved additional police officers, a sergeant and two officers, be at high school sporting events as school resource officers. The cost will be absorbed by the Robeson County Board of Education.

— Heard a presentation from three graduate students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of City and Regional Planning. The students are conducting a study of the town’s downtown economy and will recommend economic development options at no cost to the town.

— Approved the contracts of two Employment Security Commission employees to work for the town as part of the commission’s workforce development program. One contract was for an additional Public Works employee and the other for an administrative clerk. The program allows commission employees to work and receive on-the-job training in various sectors of the town and at no expense to the town.

— Awarded Dixon Construction a contract for storm drainage repairs on Second and McLean streets. The repairs will cost $15,634.

— Approved the reconvening of the cemetery committee to discuss the requirement of a grave vault and stone marker for cemetery plots.

— Authorized the demolition of a structure at 222 W. Pate St. and foreclosure on the property to recover costs of demolition and $667 of back-taxes.

— Authorized a letter to be sent to delinquent taxpayers. The letter notifies taxpayers that they have 10 days to pay or legal action will be taken to recover the money owed to the town. Last year, the town’s collection rate was 88 percent.

— Approved the replacement of 10 Bradford pear trees that were damaged in an accident off Interstate 95 with 10 Crape myrtles. Friendly Ice Cream paid the town $5,300 for the damages.

– Staff writer Ali Rockett can be reached at (910) 272-6127 or by e-mail [email protected]

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