Panel eyes change in retirement payouts

Looking for new ways to save the county money, commissioners discussed changing the county’s policy on sick time and vacation buyouts for retiring employees.

County Administrator Stacy Wilson said the county’s sick leave policy is the state minimum at 250-hour maximum payout, but commissioners can reduce the maximum 600-hour vacation payout.

“We need to evaluate that policy,” Commissioner Fred Zoeller said. “Six hundred hours is a tremendous liability for the county.”

Commissioner Jeff Wagner said he thinks employees should be able to carry over vacation time if they are planning a special vacation one year, but he said he wants to limit the amount of unused vacation hours the county has to payout to retiring employees.

Zoeller said he would like to see other counties’ policies on the amount of vacation time payouts, and see if Seneca County can implement a policy that would cut the maximum payout of 600 hours, equal to 15 weeks of work.

Wilson said if commissioners were to change the policy, they would need to get department heads on board with the changes because they could refuse to adopt the policy.

Zoeller said if commissioners decide to change the policy, he would suggest not implementing the changes until next year.

The grand opening for the new Seneca County Youth Center is to take place Thursday, Wilson said.

Zoeller said while some citizens are going to complain that the county did not need to spend money on a new youth center, he said the building was a necessity because the old facility is “deplorable.”

Commissioner Holly Stacy agreed to join the OSS Solid Waste policy committee. Commissioners are looking for a business representative to join the committee as well.

In other business, Zoeller suggested commissioners look into an electronic system of filing work orders for building maintenance.

He said Sandusky County has put in a system, and it has been effective. The system would allow everyone to see which buildings and offices are requesting work orders.

Wagner said the current system for work orders is fine, but said it would not hurt to look into an electronic system.

Also at the meeting, Donovan O’Neil, of the state auditor’s office, gave commissioners an update and introduced the new commissioners to services the office provides.

Wagner said the annual audit costs about $80,000 and wants to work to keep the cost down.

Dog Warden Kelly Marker gave commissioners a presentation on the duties of the warden’s office, as well as an annual update.

Immediately before their Tuesday meeting, commissioners are to have their first work session, during which the public can speak to commissioners in a less formal setting.

The work session is to start at 9:30 a.m.

In new business, the board approved:

Bill vouchers.

A supplemental appropriation of $250 within the Community Corrections Fund for 2013.

A supplemental appropriation of $750 for the Title Administration Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $250 for the Dog and Kennel Fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $2,500 for the General Fund for 2013.

A supplemental appropriation of $8,985 for the Ambulance Service Fund for 2013.

An appropriation adjustment of $70 within the General Fund.

A resolution authorizing a lease agreement between the commissioners and the Seneca County General Health District, effective Jan. 1.

A resolution amending the contract with Clouse Electric for the Community Development Block Grant funding year 2010 Seneca County Americans with Disabilities Act Doors Project to be paid with CDBG FY 10 monies.

A resolution authorizing the 2013 schedule of expenditures of federal awards contract between Julian and Grube Inc. and Seneca County on behalf of the Seneca County auditor for 2012.