This Week in Lincoln County – March 6, 2018

Short sleeves one day and snowflakes the next! Before we know it spring will be here (for real) and it will be time for gardening, baseball, and BBQ. I, for one, can’t wait.

A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• As we ramp up for what promises to be a busy construction season, we are in the process of wrapping up permit and easement details. Bridge construction is not a “one size fits all” proposition, so each site has its own unique characteristics. For example, one bridge project includes accommodations in the tree clearing phase to minimize the disturbance to the nesting of the Indiana bat, while another involved an easement on a piece of property that had small portions claimed by multiple landowners. Getting these details right the first time might seem like a pain, but it prevents problems down the road. An old friend once told me, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when do you have time to do it over?”
• As the County continues to grow, there are a number of new positions that need to be added to keep pace with the growth; one of which is a Human Resources director. For years, the County Clerk has been the de facto head of human resources, but the Clerk’s position is busy enough without adding what should be a department of its own to the job description. We are in the process of refining our job description for the HR position and would like to have someone in place by the end of the year.
• Another position that is on the horizon is that of an in-house Engineer. The transition from 2nd class to 1st class will necessitate the hiring of a “County Highway Administrator,” which does not require engineering credentials; however, the duties of the position, combined with our needs, make it a logical decision. Keep in mind that having our own engineer will not eliminate all need to hire outside engineering firms. The engineering firms that currently handle bridge projects for us employ a small army of people who perform surveying, permitting, drafting, and engineering tasks. In order to replace these services in-house, we would have to hire a significant staff as well as make an investment in CAD equipment, etc. – an expense which we simply cannot justify at this juncture. We would like to get this position established and filled prior to the transition to 1st class which is eminent.
That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…

Dan Colbert
Presiding Commissioner

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