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County takes 'time' to save dollars

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Financial stability for Henry County was the motive behind a pair of interesting moves during Wednesday's commissioners meeting.

First, Henry County Highway Department Supervisor Joe Wiley asked for and received permission to no longer use an ADP time clock system to measure the comings and goings of his employees. Wiley said doing away with the system could possibly save as much as $8,000.

“We've been paying for an ADP service where we clock in on a daily basis," Wiley said. "Prior to the ADP, we kept track of everyone's hours. There's approximately 20 of us who work at the highway department. It's not like we work times when nobody else is there. We all know when people are there and when people leave. We keep track of each other that way and fill out our daily work sheets.”

Wiley said from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28 the department had paid $1,670. "If you do the math, it would be a savings of somewhere between $8,000 and $9,000 a year," Wiley said.

Then, commissioners unanimously approved putting $60,000 of its own budget into the county health insurance fund to help erase a shortfall there. The cut of 2 % mirrors what commissioners have asked other county departments to do.

Henry County's self-funded insurance fund was in the hole more than $770,000 at the end of 2018. In order to end the year with at least a zero balance, the previous county council borrowed $300,000 loan from both the Cumulative Bridge Fund and the Drain Maintenance Fund. That money has to be repaid to those funds by the end of June.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved a request from clerk Jenny Grubbs to freeze her benefits as a county employee. Grubbs had worked for several years as an office worker before becoming clerk. The commissioner action enables her to keep accumulated benefits earned during that time.

• Commissioners approved a request from Chicago Corner Church to close off part of a county road for Jenna's 5K Run, an event upcoming later this spring.

• Commissioners heard from Penny York, director of special projects for the EDC, about training scheduled May 21 for employees to discuss cultural diversity in the workplace. Memorial Park Supt. Laurie Davis said the Smith Building would be available for that event.