COLUMBUS — The Wyandot County Board of Commissioners was recognized Friday, along with eight other counties, for 25 years of membership in the County Risk Sharing Authority, a service program of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
As CORSA celebrated its 25th year of existence Friday, the “nine brave counties” who established CORSA were recognized. They included Wyandot, Huron, Henry, Putnam, Fayette, Darke, Adams, Scioto and Guernsey counties.
According to a booklet provided at the annual meeting Friday, liabilities insurance for counties was either unavailable or unaffordable in the 1980s. On May 12, 1987, during the CCAO and the County Engineers Association of Ohio summer conference at Kings Island in Mason, nine counties known as the “brave nine” came together to form CORSA. Today, CORSA has 63 of Ohio’s 88 counties as members, along with 19 county-affiliated facilities.
“The CORSA story is a success story for intergovernmental relations, as members have joined together to provide greater value to their constituents,” the booklet says.
Wyandot County Commissioner Steve Seitz said the group has helped avoid lawsuits — paid for with taxpayers’ money — in the county through its training programs.
“Nine counties in the state stuck their (necks) out and helped to form (CORSA),” Seitz said. “(Being a member of CORSA) has saved the county a lot of money over the years. … It’s neat that our people had the wherewithal to (join).”
CORSA Managing Director David Brooks praised the nine original counties in the booklet.
“Those nine counties took a giant leap of faith when they, along with the other obligations they assumed, made a 10-year commitment to a bond debt that was used to provide excess liability coverage,” Brooks wrote. “… I don’t believe anyone in 1987 would have dared to envision what we have become today.”
He wrote that covered property values exceed $9.2 billion and the program covers more than 12,000 vehicles and $1.5 billion worth of payroll.
This year, CORSA’s net assets increased to $57.9 million, an increase of about 15 percent from the previous year, according to Brooks.
“The significance of CORSA being governed by and for counties is underscored by the fact that CORSA members own the assets,” he wrote. “The assets are used only for the benefit of members. In addition to returning $1.6 (million) in dividends to members, CORSA also returned $440,000 to members through the loss control incentive program and member equity was used to pay for an additional $863,000 for risk management services provided to members.”
CORSA is governed by nine directors who are county commissioners from member counties. The directors are elected by CORSA members and are eligible to serve three two-year terms. The officers are elected by a board of directors and are eligible to serve two one-year terms.
Other public entity members include the Marion-Hardin Jail Commission, the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center, the North Central Ohio Rehabilitation Center, the Northwest Ohio Juvenile Center and many more.
CORSA leadership from 1987 to this year included Wyandot County’s Jim Gilliland from 2003-04.
CORSA’s mission statement is “to provide members with comprehensive property and liability coverage and high quality risk management services at a stable and competitive cost.”
By ALISSA PAOLELLA