10/01/06 — County adding 3 employees to payroll

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County adding 3 employees to payroll

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 1, 2006 2:05 AM

Wayne County officials could spend about $160,000 to hire more employees in the next year in an effort to reduce costs and to oversee upcoming projects.

Although the county has already hired a recycling coordinator, officials said they will seek a fleet manager and an animal shelter manager soon.

Since residents and businesses throw away more than 500 tons of waste per day, Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said the county's Solid Waste Department has become an important factor in saving costs.

The county took cost-saving steps in Solid Waste at the beginning of the month when it implemented a corrugated cardboard ban at the county landfill.

About once every five years, the county is forced to buy another $5 million, 20-acre plastic-lined cell to hold the amount of waste arriving at the landfill, Solid Waste director Lloyd Cook said.

Corrugated cardboard takes up the most space of any waste in the landfill's cells. Recycling cardboard should extend a cell's life, which saves the county money.

Wayne County human resources director Sue Guy said Simonne Cato, the county's recycling coordinator and former director of Keep Wayne County Beautiful, should be able to save the county millions of dollars with her new responsibilities.

The recycling coordinator is expected to find more cost-effective measures in the Solid Waste Department, Smith said.

Mrs. Cato will make about $38,500 per year, but she could help save more than $1 million in her first year, Mrs. Guy said.

A fleet manager to coordinate the more than 225 county-owned vehicles was expected to start at the beginning of August. Although the position hasn't been filled yet, county officials are actively searching for the right person.

By controlling what routes county vehicles take and how they are operated, Smith said he believes the county can save thousands of dollars per year with a designated fleet manager.

The fleet manager's salary will be at least equal to the amount of savings initiated by the position, helping the fleet manager pay for his or her own salary, Smith said.

If the position's cost-savings aren't equal to a competitive salary, Mrs. Guy said the county won't continue the position. The position's salary will be between $39,000 and $61,500, based on the qualifying person's expertise.

The fleet manager's responsibilities include coordinating the maintenance, use, routes and policies of county-owned vehicles to reduce costs county-wide, Smith said.

County officials also are looking for a manager for the animal shelter.

The commissioners allocated $750,000 for the shelter project. Two anonymous donors will contribute another $200,000 if the commissioners agree to certain stipulations.

One of those stipulations is that a new animal shelter should have a manager to oversee the operations and policies of the new facility. During this summer's budget process, Smith suggested the county hire an animal shelter manager to oversee construction of the building, work with the contractor during the process, train personnel and draft new facility procedures once the building is complete.

The shelter manager is expected to begin work as soon as construction begins. Officials hope construction will begin in January.

The shelter manager could make anywhere from about $37,500 to $58,500 per year depending on the person's expertise and qualifications, Mrs. Guy said. The county will begin posting for that position in the next few weeks.