Commissioners approve plan for public-works director

Published 7:43 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beaufort County will soon have its first public-works director to oversee its drinking-water treatment plants and direct its maintenance operations as a result of action Monday by the Board of Commissioners.
The commissioners voted 7-0 to approve a plan presented by County Manager Randell Woodruff to create the post and reorganize one position within the county’s Water Department.
The plan eliminates the positions of water systems manager and facility maintenance supervisor, previously held by Curtis Jett and Jim Spain, respectively, and replaces those posts with the public-works director and a water-systems manager.
Spain has retired, and Jett has announced his intention to retire as of Sept. 28, the commissioners were told.
The public-works director would have a potential salary and benefits of $108,500, and the water-systems manager position would have a compensation/benefits package of $60,710 for a total of $169,211 in salaries and benefits for both positions.
The new public-works director would be responsible for the county’s drinking-water system, maintenance of its buildings and grounds and solid-waste issues and would supervise maintenance staff members and the water-systems manager, according to the plan.
The new water-systems manager would be charged with the daily operations of the county’s drinking-water treatment plants.
County leaders predict that the public-works director would likely be an engineer who could also help in design oversight of any new county buildings as well as renovations of existing buildings and other special projects.
The plan estimates that most of the public-works director’s time would be devoted to water-related issues, meaning that 60 percent of the costs of the position would be charged to the Water Department.
As a result, the county’s general fund would save $27,058 while the water districts would save $10,181 as a result of changes to Water Department salaries, according to Woodruff’s plan.
In a related matter, the commissioners voted 6-1 to approve a temporary contract with G.W. Walker and Sons of Washington in the amount of $2,000 per month to handle all buildings and grounds issues until the new public-works director can be hired.
Commissioner Ed Booth cast the sole dissenting vote.
The temporary contract would allow the county’s maintenance employees to coordinate all work orders through G.W. Walker and Sons, according to the plan presented to the board.
Woodruff estimated that the new public works director could be hired in two to three months.
All commissioners attended the meeting.