On the recommendation of its Mayor, the Summerville City Council Tuesday went againt the wishes of its 9-member Insurance Committee and awarded the city’s insurance services to two local firms, one of which whose owner is a volunteer firefighter for the city. Councilman David Ford did not vote on the measure citing that he is a city employee.

The Insurance Committee had recommended the contract be awarded to Garner & Glover Company, based in Rome, citing that it was determiend that Garner & Glover can offer the best overall customer support to city staff. In a 2-page letter, the committee cited 12 reasons for their recommendation. The council selected local firms Guffin and Eleam and Flegal Insurance as its brokers with Cigna Insurance as its provider.

Butch Eleam of Guffin and Eleam is a volunteer firefighter for the city and Giffin and Eleam has brokered the city’s insurance for the past 12 years, according to Mayor Harry Harvey. The Cigna insurance represents a 2.2 percent increase in insurance cost to the city over last year with employee contributions going up about 30 percent. The city’s cost is projected to decrease by 1.5 percent. Of course, those figures are computeed using the current employee census and could change upon the types of coverages employees choose during open enrollment. ‘

The Cigna plan will cost the city a total of just over $756,000 annually, with employees paying almost $110,000 of that, leaving the city with a final cost of just more than $646,000. The city decided to look at its insurance plan when its current provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield hit them with a 17 to 18 percent cost increase.

Four proposals were received. Other firms submitting proposals were from Atlanta and Alpharetta