The Ashe County Board of Commissioners were schooled in “piggybacking” and learned about savings to the county and local veterans at their regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 18.
Scott Hurley, the county’s director of Environmental Services, presented the board with a proposal to “piggyback” a front-loader garbage truck, which would effectively save the county around $9,000.
Piggybacking is a method that allows one party, in this case Ashe County, to take advantage of a contract between two other parties, those other two parties being Watauga County and Kernersville-based Carolina Environmental Services, Inc.
“According to state statute, the county can ‘piggyback,’ which means purchase a frontloader vehicle or any other vehicle off of another county at a certain quote,” Hurley said. “A lot of times this is a lot cheaper for the county to purchase this type of item from another county off of another county’s purchase order.”
Hurley said the cost of piggybacking on Watauga’s contract is approximately $221,501 as opposed to $230,000.
Commissioner Larry Rhodes applauded Hurley’s decision.
“That’s a great move,” Rhodes said. “I appreciate saving the county $9,000, $10,000.”
“How will the existing one be disposed of,” Commissioner Gerald Price asked.
Hurley replied that the existing truck will be used as a back-up.
The motion to piggyback on Watauga’s contract carried 5-0.
Hurley also presented the board with an update on improvements being made at Family Central, specifically areas around the facility that have been out of compliance with state standards since 2008.
“The gravel parking lot next to old ball field, there are some slope and drainage issues,” Hurley said. “The parking lot is an issue and there are also some erosion problems behind the gymnasium.”
Hurley said that in mid to late July, he and County Manager Sam Yearick inspected areas around the facility and discussed making necessary improvements.
“I discovered my deptartment could bring these areas back into compliance,” Hurley said.
Hurley expects the county to wind up saving as much as $20,000 by keeping the job in-department as opposed to contracting it out. He also expects the improvements could be completed within the next two weeks.
In other board-related business:
• Darryl Vaughn, Veterans Service Officer for Ashe County, addressed the board for the first time since being selected for the position last November. Vaughn said he’s recieved about 250 calls from local veterans since coming on board, discussing with them their needs and concerns. Since January, there have been a total of 12 enrollments to apply for VA medical care. There are around 2,000 veterans currently living in Ashe County. Vaughn said the majority of veterans he deals with served in the Vietnam War, however, he’s seeing an increasing number of veterans who served in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
• Keith Little, Tax Administrator for Ashe County, presented the board with the county’s monthly tax report for July. According to Little, not a lot of money was collected last month, but a lot has been taken in so far this August. He also said the latest county tax reevaluation should be complete by the first of November.
The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at the Ashe County Courthouse.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.