County news # 2Marshall County Commissioner Kurt Garner is still interested in hiring an engineer for the County Highway Department and asked the County Council on Monday to reconsider a higher salary range for the position.

Garner said, “I think that um, we have seen evidence where we need to have a little more expertise.  Commissioner (Kevin) Overmyer has now suggested that maybe we look at something that is a little broader, that there would actually be more responsibilities for this person.  Generally, where there’s more responsibilities, will there there’s a higher salary.”    He closed his comments by saying, “I’m going to continue to just beat that drum particularly as we have seen with some drainage issues where a civil engineer on that side would be able to help address some of these concerns.”

Commissioner Garner asked if there was any consideration on raising the salary up to $85,000.

Council member Bill Githens said, “As I recall, Commissioner Overmyer wanted to broaden the scope of the engineer and to make it not just a highway department engineer but a county engineer.”   Garner chimed in that the engineer could be used for small projects in other communities in the county.

Garner said the issue is that the engineer would have to have some supervision over an aspect of the highway department in order to recapture the state reimbursement. He said he believed there is a way to quality for the reimbursement without the engineer necessarily being over the highway department.

When asked if the candidate Commissioners Garner and Delp are interested in capable of doing the work of a county engineer Garner said yes, indicating they have a specific candidate in mind.

President of the County Council, Judy Stone asked Commissioner Garner to revamp his proposal and the funding process for council consideration.