11/17/10 Marshall County Highway Superintendent Neal Haeck asked the County Commissioners to support his decision to replace two of the three employees he will lose by the end of the year. Haeck told the commissioners that he will be down one mechanic, a sign person and a heavy equipment operator.

His request came before the commissioners on Monday because their policy to freeze any new hires and replacement of retiring employees or those who quit without consideration by both boards.

In pleading his case Haeck said the mechanic position is necessary because of the aging fleet they have.  Not only do the mechanics work on the pick-up trucks and dump trucks but also on tractors and mowers along with loaders and such.  At times during major snow falls they are also called on the plow snow.

The County Highway Department has five mechanics in next year’s budget and replacing this one will keep them at full staff.

Haeck also asked to replace a sign person.  He explained that new federal mandates will require the county to inventory all county signs including stop signs, road signs, speed limit signs, curve signs and so forth.  Along with the inventory the county will have to GPS the location of each and every sign along with making sure each sign meets the new federal standards for reflectivity.  The county will have two years to complete the requirements.  Not only will the sign person be responsible for these duties but also for any sign installations needed and would even serve as a snow plow driver when necessary.

The Highway Superintendent told the commissioner he could get along without replacing the heavy equipment operator.  He also explained that over the last 9 to 10 years his department has seen a reduction of 9 employees and that he understands the need to be fiscally responsible and feels that hiring two of the three employees he is down is helping the county out financially while being responsive to the citizens expecting service.

The Marshall County Commissioners approve the replacement of a mechanic but tabled a decision on a full-time sign person.  County Commissioner Kevin Overmyer asked Haeck to seek additional information on the new federal mandates on signage from MACOG and report back to them at their next meeting.

Haeck will need to seek approval from the County Council prior to hiring.