During the Bourbon County Commission meeting Thursday morning, Public Works Director Jim Harris summed up his road and bridge department’s past year as one where they learned to streamline their work in order to save finances.
“My goal for 2017 is to continue streamlining it,” Harris said of their department, pointing out that in 2016 they had to learn to complete their work despite losing employees to retirement.
With a current hiring freeze and facing two more retirements in March, Harris said they will have to continue to “do more with less,” with both finances and manpower. As a result, Harris said they will have to restructure their labor force in early 2017. Commission Chairperson Barbara Albright said some of those changes can be beneficial to the county.
“We’re operating smarter and utilizing our people better,” Harris said, praising his team for their hard work.
Because of their limited workers, Harris said they sometimes have to be a little more selective when choosing what work they complete first, but said they continue to keep up with the many tasks needing attention in the county.
While the road and bridge fund is meeting their budget carryover for the new year, county funds are still tight for all departments moving forward.
In 2017, Harris said he also hopes to see progress made in finding a fourth quarry in the county in the northern region in order to save the cost of transporting gravel to that area. He also pointed out decisions will have to be made concerning asphalt roads.
“It’s going to be a big year,” Harris said. “It will be a good one.”