Commissioners discuss Sanitary Engineer position

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — Preble County has been without a Sanitary Engineer since former SA Bob Kohnen left to take another position. During a Preble County Commissioners meeting on Monday, Feb. 25, Commissioner Rodney Creech presented an idea to fill the open position.

He shared, he met with Engineer Kyle Cross to discuss the open position at the landfill. Creech’s proposal is to have the County Engineer back fill the Sanitary Engineer position.

According to Creech, other counties have “made it work.”

Creech also met with Wes Rhiel, with T&M Associates, to ask the amount of time which would need to be committed to the landfill by Cross. According to Creech, he answered, one to three hours a week to fill the Sanitary Engineer’s role, not including Sewer District 6, which would be additional.

“My personal opinion on a Sanitary Engineer is, while I’ve been here, we’ve probably had a Sanitary Engineer about 50 percent of the time. The majority of their time was spent doing building projects and those building projects are done. Now it is just daily routine stuff that can be taken care of, hopefully, for a lot less money,” Creech said.

“At the end of the day, I think we were paying [Bob Kohnen] $90,000 plus benefits. So you’re probably looking at a $110,000 position. I feel like we can probably save upwards of $70,000 to $80,000 for the county. [Rhiel] said it could definitely be done and it has been done by other counties. I just wanted to throw that out there to maybe start a conversation.”

“We would really need to sit down with Kyle [Cross] and have a frank discussion. There is going to be more to overseeing the landfill, this is not just the guy doing the day-to-day operations, we need someone who can drill down to what is going on, the regulations, and where we need to go,” Commissioner Chris Day said.

“By the time you bundle the Landfill, Sewer District Six, and Solid Waste District there is going to be an ongoing project all the time. Since I’ve been sitting here, between all those operations, we’ve had something on our plates the entire time.”

Commissioner Denise Robertson asked if Cross would get the full authority of Sanitary Engineer and Creech answered he would. Creech added, they could decide that Cross needs to work more hours instead of the one-to-three Rhiel mentioned.

Creech is going to be doing research on the other counties who back fill their sanitary engineer position with their county engineer.

In other business:

•Commissioners approved a resolution referencing supplemental appropriation in the amount of $172 for Employee’s Health Insurance Fund.

•Commissioners noted receipt of the Juvenile Detention Housing agreement with West Central Juvenile Detention Center in the amount of $69,350 for Juvenile Court.

•Commissioners approved an autopsy services agreementwith Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in the amount of $80,000.

The Preble County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse, unless noted otherwise.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH