County eyes savings with new video tools

BROOKVILLE — “Using technology to save county taxpayers’ dollars” is how Jefferson County Commissioner Jim McIntyre surmised the resent acquisition of video conference technology.

Jen Hamilton, of the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug Commission, reported that she was able to acquire eight video conference units using funds available from a rural outreach grant.

Those conference units will be available to county executives and staff, which should eliminate the need for travel expenses and human resources time lost that occurs when staff attend conferences.

“Hopefully, this will benefit our agency, citizens and other agencies across the county,” Hamilton said.

McIntyre is the county’s representative to the North Central Regional Planning and Development Council, and said such technology is a welcome addition to the county office.

He said he could use the video conference units to attend a meeting without having to be reimbursed mileage or other expenses.

“My vote will count just the same,” he said.

County officers, such as the director of Children & Youth Services or the Area Agency on Aging, could also use the units to attend informative conferences.

Some of those conferences are located hours away from Jefferson County, and would have required the county to pay for mileage, meals and a hotel room.

“Now, they are just walking down the street (to a conference unit),” Hamilton said.

“Over the past eight years, we (the commissioners) have tried to do the best we can for the taxpayers of Jefferson County,” commission Chairman Paul Corbin said. “This is a prime example of that.”

In other business:

• The commissioners entered into an agreement with Gwin, Dobson & Foreman for consulting engineering services for all county Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects in 2011.

Bill Setree, of the Jefferson County Department of Development, said four engineer proposals were reviewed, and Gwin, Dobson & Foreman was rated as the best deal for the county.

Setree said the engineering fees are paid with money alloted to the CDBG-approved project, and no money from the county’s general fund will be used to pay the engineers.

• The commissioners approved the tentative gross payroll in the amount of $200,000 for the period April 10 through April 23, and the actual gross payroll in the amount of $199,731.35 for the period March 27 through April 9.

• The commissioners approved invoices in the amount of $696,385.03 for the period April 13 through April 26, and pending invoices in the amount of $85,879.23.