During the public comment segment of the Town Council meeting Jan. 6, Londonderry Historical Society secretary Sue Joudrey and member Ann Chiampa presented concerns from the society over a proposed cut to their budget.
Joudrey said the proposed $1,000 cut was disconcerting as the society has “things to pay for such as electric bills, ADT security and insurance.
Town Manager Kevin Smith had proposed the $1,000 reduction to help pay for the increase to Community Health Services, the Derry agency that manages the town’s General Assistance (welfare) program.
Town Council chair John Farrell asked the amount of the total budget for the Historical Society, and Finance Director Sue Hickey said it was $7,500 – with the Town Manager’s reduction, it would be $6,500.
Councilor Tom Dolan then suggested that the property was on the town’s insurance and that there could be a savings there.
According to an email to Smith, Val Murphy, claims consultant with New Hampshire Public Risk Management (Primex3), the town’s insurer, the Londonderry Historical Society By-Laws and Charter documents that Primex requested had been reviewed and its position is, “Unfortunately, the Historical Society could not be covered under the town coverage.”
In a response to an inquiry by Administrative Support Coordinator Steve Cotton on the issue, Murphy said to obtain coverage with Primex3, the Historical Society would have to fit the definition of Covered Persons or Entities under the Public Entity Liability Coverage Document.
“Primex3 general counsel and I reviewed the By-Laws and the Articles of Agreement to determine if the eligibility requirements were satisfied,” Murphy said.
The relevant section provides as follows: Covered Persons or Entities: (H) Not-for-profit corporations organized by the Member’s governing body for the sole purpose of conducting and/or supporting Member activities and/or services.”
Murphy’s email said that after consideration of the documentation submitted, “we have concluded that (Londonderry Historical Society) unfortunately does not qualify as a Covered Person or Entity for the purposes of obtaining coverage with Primex. It does not appear that the Historical Society was formed by the Town’s governing body for the sole purpose of carrying out or supporting town functions.”
David Colglazier, Historical Society treasurer, said they paid $1,500 last year for insurance through Pollack Insurance.