By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport is looking to save money by creating its own city engineer position rather than contracting out for engineering services.
The proposed annual pay range for the new city engineer job would be from $65,097 to $104,620.
“A historic analysis of the city’s engineering costs show there would have been a substantial savings with a staff engineer in all except 2010, which was the year of the severe economic downturn when council chose to perform no projects,” said Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall. “Having our own city engineer would save on engineering expenses while providing better and more efficient customer service as well as additional technical oversight of the public works department, especially the new water treatment plant.”
Hall said from 2008 through Sept. 30, 2013, figures show that having a city engineer instead of contracting out for engineering services would have given the city an annual savings for all years, except for 2010 and early 2011, of between $21,000 and $155,000.
“Engineering expenses are determined by the amount of projects performed, both public design and review of private projects,” said Hall.
The city’s current engineering contract with EMH&T dates back to 2006.
“Until 2011, EMH&T’s contract cost was $4,400 per month, but as of 2011 no retainer was paid and it became an hours used basis with the services determined by an hourly charge per type of professional used,” said Hall.’
Groveport City Council will consider the legislation to create the city engineer position at a future meeting.
Proposed management changes
Hall has recommended to council that supervision of the parks maintenance department be shifted from the director of parks and recreation to the director of facilities management.
“We believe this will provide better management of the park maintenance staff, since the director of facilities management already manages city facilities,” said Hall. “Also, it will offer the director and parks and recreation more time to oversee the recreation and aquatics centers and programs, which account for almost 20 percent of the general fund budget.”
The additional duties would not result in a pay raise for the director of facilities management, said Hall. Also, the loss of some responsibility for the parks and recreation director would not result in a pay cut.
“We are expecting more hands on management of the recreation and aquatics centers,” said Hall. “The benefit of all this to the city is better day-to-day management of both areas.”
The annual pay range for the director of facilities management is is $44,096 to $70,845.
The annual pay range for the director of parks and recreation is $55,441 to $89,101.