By Ed Runyan
Trumbull County officials hope a $60,000 Local Government Innovation Fund grant will be approved to help the commissioners and engineer’s office find ways to share equipment and services.
If the grant is approved, a consultant would put together a study, which officials would then rely on to make changes. The commissioners and county engineer’s office applied for the grant last week.
One good opportunity is sharing vehicle maintenance facilities and personnel, said Don Barzak, director of governmental affairs for the Trumbull County Engineer’s office.
Commissioners have a vehicle-maintenance facility on Panther Avenue near downtown; the engineer’s office does vehicle maintenance at its North River Road facility.
Another is the Vac Jet truck that the engineer’s office and sanitary engineer’s office both have, Barzak said. The truck, which costs about $350,000, hooks up to the catch basin in sewers and allows debris to be vacuumed out.
Barzak said it’s likely the two departments could share one truck.
There are times when the county engineer’s office paves a road, but another agency comes along not long after and makes a cut in the road to fix a utility problem. A study might suggest ways that the agencies can work together more efficiently to avoid this, Barzak added.
If approved, the money for the study would come from the Ohio Department of Development Services.
“I think they will come up with some ideas worth implementing,” said Paul Heltzel, county commissioner.
The county engineer’s office was successful in getting a 0 percent loan earlier from the Local Government Innovation Fund to build a joint storage facility for road salt.
The facility, which will be built in the spring, will be used by the engineer’s office and several nearby townships.
More than a dozen townships in Trumbull County already are saving money by buying their salt in common with the county engineer’s office, Barzak said.