Osceola County Commissioners approve part-time maintenance position
REED CITY — Completing regular and unplanned maintenance in Osceola County government buildings should be easier in the weeks and months ahead.
County Commissioners approved adding a part-time position to the maintenance department for less than $13,000 this budget year during their Committee of the Whole session on May 2 at the Osceola County Courthouse.
Commissioner Mark Gregory, who serves on the county's Health, Safety and Grounds Committee, expressed
his concerns following that committee's touring of county buildings.
"We've noticed a common theme," he said. "There's more maintenance work that needs to be and should be done to keep our county buildings up to the way we should."
Gregory said the limited staff is unable to complete regular maintenance when issues arise.
"There are certain functions in this county that dictate where they can spend their time," he said. "The jail requires a lot of maintenance. That's a lot of time that's not spent in the EMS building or the courthouse. They are having to prioritize what works gets done."
Gregory said the committee wanted commissioners to look at increasing staff numbers or possibly subcontracting the work. Currently, the department has two full-time employees and a part-time employee working 16 to 20 hours a week.
"We need to be able to accomplish this work whatever way is the most prudent," he added. "There's just not enough guys to do the work. The jail could almost use a full-time maintenance person. There are too many buildings. We're not making fewer buildings, we're making more and creating more and more work that needs to be done maintenance-wise."
County Coordinator Sue Vander Pol said the type of work needing to get done by the maintenance department — snowplowing, working on air conditioning units, fixing plumbing issues when inmates throw stuff in the toilets in the jail — are out of the scope of what Community Corrections can do.
"It's a lot of routine things," she said. "There's just not enough time in a day."
Vander Pol and Gregory pointed out adding another part-time employee would provide up to 28 hours each week, and the county should consider utilizing the other part-time employee an additional four hours per week.
The starting rate to hire a new maintenance employee, depending on skill set, Vander Pol said, is $12.71 to $13.47 per hour. Someone starting at the entry level rate would have an annual salary of $20,541, but less than $12,000 this year if hired now. At the higher rate for 28 hours a week, the annual salary would be $21,776 and $12,563 for the remainder of the year.
In other action from Tuesday's committee meeting, commissioners approved:
- Purchasing a new server for the Register of Deeds office, as the current one is nearing capacity. Register of Deeds Nancy Crawford had planned to purchase a new server in 2018, however she felt it was necessary to purchase a new one before the older one breaks down. The county is matching $9,000 from Crawford's automation fund for the $18,000 price tag on the server.
- Creating a guest Wi-Fi connection for the county, as well as allowing individuals with secure devices and direct program services with county departments to access the secure county Wi-Fi as appropriate and determined by Technology Coordinator J.T. Burgess.
- Awarding the 2017 paper bid to Integrity Business Solutions for $5,672.47 to handle the county's paper needs.
- Re-appointing Dave Johns to the Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority for a three-year term to expire May 31, 2020.
Items needing action during the Committee of the Whole meeting were approved by officials at the Osceola County Board of Commissioners meeting, directly following the committee meeting.
The next Committee of the Whole meeting is slated for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16, at the Osceola County Courthouse.