Saving money has rewards for county

Saving money has its rewards for several Washington County government agencies.

The Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved using $720,000 in savings generated last year to support “mission directed budget” items.

Commissioners in February adopted a mission directed budget savings policy identifying a portion of year-end budget savings to use for countywide projects that increase efficiencies and support the county’s mission.

The program rewards county departments for efficient operations by allocating part of unassigned year-end revenues to programs and services supporting the county’s mission.

The county’s 2012 budget finished $1.8 million in the black, with savings through aggressively managed costs and lower-than-budgeted expenses. Mission directed budget savings last year were about $697,200, which combined with an existing $22,900 balance resulted in $720,000.

Recommended projects for the $720,000 are:

  • $163,000 to implement security task force recommendations previously presented to the County Board;
  • $35,000 for an economic development consultant. Commissioners have previously expressed interest in being more involved in economic development;
  • $20,000 to complete a county workforce analysis to identify workforce diversity opportunities;
  •  $15,000 to develop an on-line tool to help employees select a health plan that best serves their needs;
  •   $75,000 to complete an audit and update county job classifications, salary analysis and information related to either recalibrating and replacing the current county classification system;
  •   $50,000 to develop a leadership academy for current and emerging county leaders and develop opportunities for current managers to develop their core competencies;
  •  $52,800 for a criminal justice information system the FBI requires for employees accessing criminal justice information. The county must comply with the requirement by Sept. 30;
  •   $19,500 for updated faxing software for the Public Health and Environment and Community Corrections departments;
  • $139,000 for VoIP phones to replace telephones in the Law Enforcement Center and DPHE;
  • $10,000 for mandatory upgrade to the county’s payroll processing system required by the vendor since support to the current system is being discontinued;
  • $40,000 to add video teleconferencing capabilities at the Stillwater Government Center and on service center;
  • $27,000 for virtual desktop infrastructure to streamline desktop management and reduce IT costs;
  •  $16,000 for a video streaming project that allows live web streaming of County Board meetings;
  • $40,000 for an Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan, and
  •  $17,500 to equip 50 squad cars with backup sensors to reduce vehicle accidents and reduce repair and insurance costs.