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BCL at risk of losing insurance

Staff Writer | August 11, 2022 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY —- The Boundary County Library is at risk of losing its insurance when its policy comes up for renewal in October.

ICRMP, or the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program, is a member-owned carrier created by Idaho local governments to provide property and casualty insurance for public entities. The carrier provides all insurance coverage for BCL. The city of Bonners Ferry, Kootenai County, Bonner and Boundary counties and other jurisdictions also use this carrier.

On Aug. 1, ICRMP’s Executive Director Timothy L. Osborne wrote to the library district and board that the library district is set to expire on midnight of Oct. 1, and will not be renewed.

Increased risk exposure and potential for adverse claims were cited among the “numerous factors” behind the decision, Osborne wrote.

There is a 14-day period to appeal the decision. If the library is not insured by midnight Oct. 1, it will have to close its doors.

Earlier this year, North Idaho College and Canyon County received similar letters.

At a special library board meeting on Aug. 9, board members voted to schedule a time to appeal the decision, likely in September. The motion passed and the board discussed how to proceed.

In that discussion, library director Kimber Glidden suggested the board appeal the decision before looking at other options. While she’s begun researching other insurance carriers and has found an option that may cover more, she does not yet have a quote.

Trustee Lee Colson said that the letter was vague and that he wants more information and clarification on why the ICRMP board is not renewing the policy.

Glidden added that if the library has to shift to a new provider due to affordability of coverage the library may need to offer fewer services. She told the board she had been planning to expand library hours and services in the fall, but said that will have to be placed on the back burner until insurance coverage is solved.

“Keeping the library open is my top priority,” Trustee Aaron Bohachek said.

In other library news, the budget hearing has been moved to September.