Environmental Service Coordinator Eric Bailey left a hole in the county’s staff with his recent resignation, but instead of filling the position, the county commissioners decided to use the employees they have to complete the tasks Bailey had been responsible for.
Bailey worked his final day Friday after reaching the decision to move from the county and begin his own sub-contracting business. His job included working with contractors, overseeing inspections for those buying and selling homes and approving permits for projects occurring in flood plains, among other responsibilities.
During their Tuesday morning meeting, the Bourbon County Commission and attorney Justin Meeks discussed the decision to use four employees from the GIS/IT and Assessor’s departments to cover those tasks. By doing so, the county would save the money that would be needed to cover an employees salary and would instead cover the hours the individuals would work.
Meeks said those employees should be able to maintain the quality of the work the county usually provides, but may not always be able to in the same timely manner as when they had a full-time employee devoted to the position. If the change does not seem to work, or if area development suddenly increases, the commission would revisit the decision.
Continuing in the budget season, the commissioners said they have to work carefully to make sure the needed finances are available as they collect budget requests from various departments. Already, they are trying to discern how to increase the wages for members of the sheriff’s department, to make the positions more competitive, within the current budget. Five positions have also been cut from the roads and bridges department in order to consolidate positions and save funding.
Meeks said the main way a county is able to save money is by cutting people or services, while commissioner Jeff Fischer added it is up to the leadership to prioritize their services and decide where to invest their money.