2011-04-28 / Local & State

Statements Issued On Business Manager Salary, County Savings

Fundraising goal of $70K set to complete exterior of jailhouse
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

In an effort to answer a multitude of questions that have arisen at recent town meetings, the Fulton County commissioners released information this week related to the hiring and ongoing employment of their business manager.

In their announcement, the commissioners stated business manager Tim Stanton is scheduled to receive a total of $72,716 in compensation for his duties in accordance with a 40-hour work week. In looking at the last six years, Stanton’s pay ranged between $50,336 to $92,137.

Furthermore, Stanton received pay totalling over $80,000 during three of the years due to additional duties and projects assigned through his additional roles as human resources, maintenance director and chair of the county construction committee that oversees the ongoing renovation project.

According to the commissioners, by hiring a business manager the county has managed to recoup some savings that they did not receive in prior years. As an example, it was noted the county participates in a cost recoupment program where indirect costs associated with each department are analyzed and properly billed to the department that, in turn, bills the appropriate agency and receives reimbursement. The county received $13,300 in indirect costs associated with the business manager position last year.

Savings over a six-year period totalled $210,209 by negotiating with brokers to obtain the most reasonably priced health insurance for employees. Additional annual savings were garnered in the amount of $11,015 by consolidating services, which reduced the administrative costs of the county’s retirement system, said the commissioners.

The commissioners went on to reference the weekly payment of bills; the institution of a Voyager Fleet Program linked to the purchase of gasoline for county vehicles; salary reimbursements; and additional measures that saved the commissioners $41,621 yearly as a result of the business manager’s practices.

“In reality the business manager likely saved the county even more than this,” noted Commissioner Keefer. “One additional area to which it is impossible to assign a dollar figure is the greatly improved hiring practices now in place at the county as a result of the business manager’s efforts in the human resources area ... .”

“However, the most significant work the business manager has done for the county is to bring our accounting into compliance with the most stringent governmental accounting standards. The county receives $3.9 million in state and federal money, and without a knowledgeable accountant to bring us into compliance and keep us in compliance, we could lose that funding ... ,” she concluded.

In other matters addressed on Tuesday, the commissioners met with Ray Miller, who was appointed to serve as unpaid acting EMA/911 director until a replacement can be named for retiring director Vince Joyce. A replacement is expected to be named in the next several weeks.

Miller relinquished a cellphone and Blackberry to the commissioners and pointed out he was not fully up to speed at this time on who he should be contacting in the event of an emergency. Miller stated he has 100 percent confidence in EMA/911 employee Ruth Strait, who is fully aware of who to contact and what to do in certain situations.

Miller added he is here to help and support the county in any capacity possible. “I can handle the calamity, but I don’t have all of the contacts in order to get the ducks lined up in a row,” said Miller.

A liquid fuel funding allocation totalling $3,900 was approved for Brush Creek Township.

A contract was penned this week with Rose Consulting for the audit of telecommunications and energy bills. Rob Rose, company president, met with the commissioners last Tuesday on the terms of service, which include all bills being audited at no charge. Compensation is only exchanged in the event savings are identified and implemented. The cost to the county would be 50 percent of any refund they are able to obtain as well as 50 percent of any refund moving forward for a period of two years.

During the afternoon, Fulton County Historical Society President Dick Miller updated the commissioners on his organization’s involvement with proposed exterior renovations of the sheriff’s office. After having considered several types of exterior treatments ranging from bricks to spray-on stucco, Miller stated the society is pleased with the decision to have half-bricks known as Tru-Brix affixed to the two-story building by Redland Siding Systems located in Williamsport, Md.

Miller stated the society gave a nod of approval Monday night to the proposed exterior as well as the fundraising campaign that is now slated to get under way in hopes of reaching a goal of $70,000. Among those to be solicited for donations are the individuals who signed the petition to save the jailhouse; members of the Historical Society; and Chamber of Commerce members.

In addition to their letter writing campaign, the Historical Society, with help from Commissioner Keefer, will be hosting a dinner and auction on August 13 at the Hustontown Firehall.

Miller said the society will also be submitting a request for funding through the Schmidt Foundation to help defray costs.

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