Shuffling divisions cuts costs for county

As a cost-saving measure, Columbia County officials spent much of the year streamlining, and in some instances eliminating, government divisions.

 

"It's about the economy of scale," county Deputy Administrator Scott Johnson said. "You've got to take a look at these things from time to time to make sure we're not top heavy or filling positions just to fill them.

"If we can do the same job with less, then certainly we want to try and do that."

In August 2007, Property Acquisition, Traffic Engineering and Landfill Operations were re-organized under the Construction and Maintenance Division, while Engineering Services was folded into Building and Commercial Services.

Those changes save taxpayers about $150,000 annually, Mr. Johnson said.

After Management Services Director Todd Glover resigned in October, county officials divided his duties among other departments, which saves about $100,000 each year, Mr. Johnson said. He expects similar savings with the county's recent restructuring.

Officials recently decided to merge the county Planning and Development Division with Building, Commercial and Engineering Services. The division will be split into a building department and a planning and engineering department.

Officials are advertising for a manager of the building division. Mr. Johnson said advertisements for manager of planning and engineering should start in January.

"We have a management review team that looks at those positions and departments to see how we can make them more efficient," Mr. Johnson said.

Though most personnel from each restructured department simply transferred to a new division, salaries intact, Mr. Johnson said the savings came from eliminating divisions and positions, a reduction in travel expenses, no longer duplicating services and attrition.

"We want to make sure it's a needed position and define what those job duties should be," Mr. Johnson said.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

Columbia County Department Restructuring

COUNTY DEPARTMENTFORMER DIVISIONNEW DIVISION
Human ResourcesManagement ServicesAdministrator's office
Information TechnologyManagement ServicesAdministrator's office
GISManagement ServicesAdministrator's office
Fleet ManagementManagement ServicesEmergency and Operations
Risk ManagementManagement ServicesEmergency and Operations
ProcurementManagement ServicesFinancial Services
Property AcquisitionEngineering ServicesConstruction and Maintenance
Traffic EngineeringEngineering ServicesConstruction and Maintenance
LandfillEngineering ServicesConstruction and Maintenance
EngineeringEngineering ServicesBuilding and Commercial Services