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County looks to add positions to support capital projects

POSTED: February 16, 2014 10:37 p.m.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will consider filling four full-time positions related to capital improvement projects and economic development when it meets this week to make up for a postponed session resulting from last week’s snow and ice storm.

The positions include a vacant engineering inspector position; a construction project manager; a vacant special projects adviser position; and a housing construction specialist.

Officials said the engineering inspector would be responsible for monitoring sewers and culverts. After torrential rain washed out culverts in parts of South Hall last March, officials looked to earmark funds for the position.

“One of the benefits of this position is to have someone ... be proactive in going out and assessing the conditions of culverts,” said County Administrator Randy Knighton.

The job of the construction manager, which is currently staffed part time, will be expanded to include additional duties as the county undertakes a number of capital projects, including renovating the courthouse annex and building a new correctional institute.

“It’s basically workload,” said Human Resources Manager Bill Moats. “So there are a number of big construction projects that just can’t be done effectively on a part-time basis.”

As officials prepare for upcoming projects related to special purpose local option sales tax funding, the special projects adviser will assist with identifying what developments need to get priority. Officials said the position is intended to help with strategic planning and economic development moving forward.

Finally, the housing construction specialist, also currently staffed part time, will work to improve the county’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

“It’s overwhelming for one person on a part-time basis,” Moats said.

Through the program, the county purchases derelict homes and renovates them, a service that helps sustain property values, remove blight and guard against crime, officials said.

“Rehabs are intended to ensure that these homes ... don’t continue in disrepair and vacancy, which has a detrimental impact on the surrounding area,” Knighton said.

The construction project manager, engineering inspector and housing construction specialist positions will together cost about $180,000 annually, including benefits, Moats said — with money coming not from the general fund, but rather grants, SPLOST VI and other sources.

The special projects adviser is a contract position, and the salary and benefits have yet to be negotiated.

“We are responsible for managing (projects) in the most cost-efficient way,” said Assistant County Administrator Marty Nix, adding the new hires will help the county achieve this goal.

Officials said they would like to fill the positions immediately, assuming the Board of Commissioners approves the cost. The two part-time employees filling the construction project manager and housing construction specialist positions would be moved into full-time roles.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.


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