Road and bridge department managers were told Monday by the Marion County Commission to push ahead with plans to have crews work four 10-hour days this summer instead of five eight-hour days.
The commissioners said the plan must be pushed forward for better fuel and time efficiency, considering how much fuel is used in just starting and stopping operations.
Commission Chairman Dan Holub said the public must realize “old plans of former years just don’t match the new reality.”
Commissioner Roger Fleming said, “The bottom line is to try to be more efficient and still get the job done.”
Randy Crawford, road and bridge director, said this means many of his workers will be on the job from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday with some adjustments to change days during rainy periods.
The commissioners also agreed to save funds by halting rock applications on four miles of roads west of Ramona that are not used by school buses or the post office.
The number of road-grader routes and grading frequency already have been reduced for the sake of economy.
As if to illustrate the rising cost of fuel, the commissioners approved a fuel bid for $27,554 for 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa over a competitive bid of $27,557.50 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.
As if to emphasize the need for economization, the commissioners said they were happy to approve a bid for $6,700 for emergency management wireless connection for all county emergency departments from First Wireless Inc. of Wichita after previous estimates had come in at triple the cost.
Linda Klenda, communications director, and Dan D’Albini, Emergency Management director, said the company was able to do this because of new technology that more quickly “clones” information from radio to radio.
The commissioners said they didn’t understand the technology, but were happy for the savings.
With damage from the weekend tornadoes in mind, the commissioners decided on a policy of having D’Albini contact the commission chair whenever there’s a need for a quick emergency declaration to bring in state aid.
County Appraiser Cindy Magill said she was pleased to report a low demand for property tax hearings from the public with the new appraisal reports out.
The commissioners approved a bid of $551.15 for four-wheel-drive tires for the appraiser’s departmental vehicle from Rod’s Tires & Service of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $612 from Cardie Oil.
The commissioners approved deeding lots 39 and 40 in Tampa to the city of Tampa after tax-sale failures.