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Commissioners hire new employees, agree to replace bridge

September 03, 2008
The Crawford County Commissioners Thursday announced the hiring of two new employees at the Crawford County Judicial Complex. Denny Stroud will fill a floater position that will work between the different offices in the complex, and Richard White will serve as the new dispatch supervisor.

The three commissioners announced their picks after much deliberation and an extensive interview process. They expressed how difficult the hiring decisions were since all those interviewed had good applications, but ultimately the commissioners' choices were made due to the level of experience of both Stroud and White in positions similar to the ones for which they were hired.

The commissioners also decided to replace County Bridge No. 11 west of Marengo. Before the vote, President Larry Bye read two proposals given to the commissioners. The first proposal was to replace two beams of the bridge, as well as the deck, with a cost of $15,790. The second proposal was to build a completely new bridge for $35,365.

The commissioners decided to replace the bridge since there was only $20,000 difference in the cost between repairing and replacing and because it would prove to be more cost-effective to replace the bridge now rather than continuing to repair it.

Construction on the new bridge will not begin until the bridge going into old Marengo is completed.

Early in the meeting, CARES Director Kim Grizzel came before the commissioners to ask for their support when she requests funding from the County Council to help the program get by until December.

Grizzel informed the board that the before- and after-school program for students in grades kindergarten through eight has done everything it could to finance the program on its own before resorting to asking for funding from the county. CARES has raised $25,000 in fundraisers, including the selling of the popular Crawfordopoly game, and has received a $10,000 donation from Everett Corporation.

In other ways to reduce costs, CARES has cut the hours of employees and Grizzel has moved her salary and her secretary's salary to the PACK program at Crawford County High School. Despite all their efforts, they are still $25,000 short going into December.

The commissioners agreed to recommend to the county council that it provides any funding it can to the program.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Heard a presentation by New York Life Insurance representatives Jerome Byerly and Brian Cook on providing insurance for county workers.

•Heard from Joseph Sloan, a representative from RW Armstrong Engineering, who offered his firm's services in any future designs of bridges within the county.

•Agreed to change the old policy of paying time-and-a-half for county employees who work holidays to paying double time.

In essence, an employee who works on a holiday during a weekday will be marked down for working 48 hours unless the employee happens to be working over their 40 hours on the holiday, in which case they will be entitled to overtime pay as well or double-time-and-a-half.

•Accepted the request of both the county recorder and assessor for the use of the money left over from full-time salary and insurance the county had from laying off employees to fund two part-time employees for the rest of the year.

The amount, totaling $6,000, would be split evenly between the two departments to provide a temporary part-time position in each office. The motion was approved on the condition that the employees who were laid off be notified first to see if they wish to claim these funds.

•Approved the resignation of Bill Byrd from the Crawford County Budget Advisory Committee.

•Agreed to allow Pete DuBois to dismantle and keep the materials of the old rock tip building in Marengo that was destroyed by a snowstorm in 2004 on the condition that the entire lot be cleaned up afterwards.

•Announced that construction bids on County Bridge No. 45 through Alton will begin on Nov. 19.

Next month's meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Crawford County Judicial Complex at English.

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