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Insurance rates increase for Picayune School District

Picayune School District’s Board of Trustees was updated on a rate increase in insurance policies, and heard a request from a band booster member to use a district vehicle to tow the band’s larger trailer to games and competitions.

Stewart Sneed and Hewes Account Executive Justin Ladner said that rates have increased across the board for many school districts due to Hurricane Michael. For the Picayune School District, the premium rate increased by close to $31,000, to a total of about $261,000, even after Ladner made changes to the District’s coverage to try to cut back about $5 million in coverage in an attempt to reduce the expense.

Some of the cuts included eliminating coverage for the storm shelter next to the high school campus since the building is owned by the county, along with several other items. Overall, the District was covering about $79 million in property, which Ladner reduced to $74.7 million.

He suggested increasing the deductible in the policy to reduce the premium total further. The previous deductible was $50,000, but a motion that was approved at the end of the discussion increased it to $150,000, providing another $6,000 in savings.

In other business, band booster member Cheryl Espino asked the Board for assistance in transporting the high school band’s equipment. The band utilizes two trailers to travel to away football games, competitions and other events, the largest of which was recently purchased with funds raised by the booster club. The more than 30 foot trailer has three axles, and essentially requires a diesel powered vehicle to tow safely, Espino said.

Two trailers are needed in order to transport all of the band’s instruments, props and other equipment needed for performances.

The Board approved a motion to take her request under advisement.

The next Board meeting will be July 9 at 5:30 p.m.