MOUNT VERNON — Workers at Knox County Job & Family Services approved a new three-year contract Thursday by a 48-to-3 vote, according to JFS director Roger Shooter.
Meeting Monday with the county commissioners, Shooter said the contract, effective July 1, provides for no raises in the first year, with provisions to reopen wage evaluations in the second and third years, depending on the size of the department’s budget and the general shape of the economy.
Shooter said that for the moment, JFS departments across the state are waiting to see what Gov. Ted Strickland and the state senate will do with the upcoming budget. Shooter also passed along paperwork for the Area Seven Workforce Allocation Board to be signed and approved by commissioners’ president Allen Stockberger. Another application for stimulus money being offered by the federal government was included.
“I’m beginning to wish I never heard the word,” Shooter said. “It’s stimulating us to all this red tape and bureaucracy.”
But, he said, the up side is that stimulus money allowed KCJFS to recall some employees, but that no provision was offered for how to keep these employees after the stimulus money is gone.
Knox County Auditor Jonette Curry met with the commissioners to get their agreement on a plan to discontinue the use of “super blankets,” yearlong standing purchase orders which county departments can use for ordering. Curry said it was decided a year ago to try using super blankets this year in place of standard blanket purchase orders, which are for three-month windows.
Blanket purchase orders allow departments to order commonly used materials such as office supplies without having to go through the paperwork and delay of getting a new purchase order for each order. Although the super blankets have cut down paperwork, Curry said they are problematical from a bookkeeping point of view, as they automatically encumber the amount allowed on that purchase order for the entire year, even though the money may not yet have come into the county’s coffers.
“It saves time, but it ties up funds,” Curry said, explaining that extra backtracking is then required in order to get a more realistic picture of the county’s finances at any given moment.
Curry recommended terminating the super blanket purchase orders and using regular quarterly blankets in their place.
The commissioners agreed and Curry set a date of June 1 for ending super blanket purchase orders.
In other business, the commissioners received bids from Kokosing Construction Co. Inc. of Mansfield and Small Asphalt Paving Inc. for a county and township road resurfacing contract and patching materials. The bids are for a number of various jobs projected for the remainder of the year.
The jobs include scratch coating (3/4 of an inch to 1 inch of asphalt) spots on Monroe Mills Road and all of Cullison Road; doing a slightly heavier leveling course (1 inch to 1 1/4 inches) on Fredericktown-Amity Road; performing single layer chip and seal paving to Vance Road, Vincent Road, Wall Street, Big Run Road, Earlywine Road, Darlington Road and Jefferson Road; doing double layer chip and seal to the section of Sparta Road running from Granny Creek Road to the county line; and also providing for light fog sealing and dust pads for various sites, as needed.
Additional township roads figured into the bid as well. The commissioners said the bids will be reviewed by county engineer Jim Henry for accuracy. Henry will then award the contract to the lowest accurate bidder.