Salt Lake County Attorney David Yocom told the County Commission Wednesday he doesn't believe a proposed insurance pool would save the county money.
The feasibility of an insurance pool for counties in the state is being studied under the direction of the Utah Association of Counties. But Yocom has labeled the project wasteful and said the association has a financial interest in seeing the pool started.Yocom said he is willing to track and evaluate the consultant's results but does not want to use any more of his staff's time providing information to the consultant.
Commissioner Bart Barker, a United Association of Counties officer, said the county should continue to pursue the proposal to the point that the county can fully evaluate whether joining an insurance pool would save the county money.
Yocom also believes the $15,000 the county has paid to finance the study so far is mostly subsidizing feasibility research for other Utah counties that are not paying for it. "Whether participation in a pool is cost effective for Salt Lake County is a judgment which should be made by Salt Lake County," Yocom said in a letter to Barker. "It would be unwise to transfer that decision to an entity that could only profit from the participation of Salt Lake County."
Brent Gardner, director of the association, told the Deseret News that Salt Lake and Carbon are the only counties in the state that haven't provided all of the information that has been requested about insurance coverage and losses.
"Hopefully we can work things out" with Salt Lake County, Gardner said, adding that a number of counties that have sent information have not paid their share of the feasibility study because joining an insurance pool was a low priority with them.