Athens City Council discussed changing its property and liability self-insurance pool coverage to another company at its Monday night committee meeting.

Athens has been with the Ohio Municipal Joint Self-Insurance Pool since the mid-90s. Deputy Service-Safety Director Andrew Chiki said the Public Entities Pool of Ohio, or PEP, was brought forward as a new option for the city.

Account Manager Thomas Welsh told Council switching to PEP would involve an annual contribution of $250,021 and would save the city about $18,000 annually, which is a 7% reduction in cost. 

PEP has been endorsed by the Ohio Municipal League since 2017 and has over 500 members with a 99% retention of membership.

If Council decides to switch to PEP, the contract will go into effect on April 1.

Councilmember Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, expressed concern about how quickly Council is going through this process.

“I’m a little bit concerned about rushing this through this,” Risner said. “Publicly it looks bad, to put it bluntly.”

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said this has been a longer process on the administrative side. 

The city has not identified any downsides to joining PEP.

“At this point, it seems like the benefits completely outweigh where we’re at right now,” Patterson said.

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