County departments may centralize supplies

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In an effort to save money, Putnam County is examining a plan to move toward a centralized supply. County Planner Kim Hyten presented the commissioners with a plan to move forward with the idea at Monday's meeting.

As it currently stands, each county department has its own budget for supplies, with a total cost Hyten estimated at $95,997. The idea is that ordering in bulk could save the county considerably on supplies that are needed in multiple offices.

If adopted, ordering would be handled by the planning department, with supplies housed at the courthouse annex. Only one county department has expressed no interest in being a part of the program.

Rather than each department having its own supply budget, the money would come from a central supply budget. Hyten said this move would save the county from the current system, in which department heads who have not spent their budget find ways to spend the money.

"It's no secret that at the end of the year, you're going to save on buying furniture," Hyten said.

While the plan still needs to go before the county council, the commissioners gave their approval to continuing pursuing the plan.

Tom Jones and Dave Goss of Indiana Business Equipment presented the commissioners with a proposal that could save the county further. They would like to do a study to see if savings are available to the county by providing a single printing service. The plan would be leasing all copiers, printers, faxes and multi-purpose devices from Indiana Business Equipment.

At this point, the company simply wants to do a study to see if a unified plan would be conceivable and if it would save the county. The commissioners authorized them to move forward with the study.

Hyten said he is also gathering information about damage from recent floods. If the county has at least $124,000 in infrastructure damage, it could qualify for assistance.

He added that while the county did not qualify for damage following February's ice storm, in the past relief money has been much more available for flood damage than winter storm damage.

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  • It's refreshing to see that steps are being taken to consolidate supplies into a central account, thereby potentially saving the taxpayers money.

    What's not refreshing is that one department (which one?) has no interest in the plan, thereby "protecting their turf".

    I would suggest that many areas of savings are available if only all offices would coordinate their efforts.

    Notice to all Putnam County departments, look out to the future because if everything continues as it is now, maybe the people of Putnam County will want to abolish elected offices and instead go to appointed positions.

    -- Posted by Lookout on Thu, May 5, 2011, at 10:56 AM
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