Portage County – The Portage County Board of Commissioners has had a busy start to the new year.  This will highlight some of what has happened so far.
After permanently abolishing many administrative jobs in late Fall, we recently approved a plan to streamline workflow and reassign jobs to existing staff.  The new system will likely begin in late February.  The new plan ensures that all duties are formally assigned and reduces paperwork and duplication in many instances.  This will all be accomplished while maintaining prior cost savings and working within the existing budget.  Teamwork really can produce great results!
For anyone interested in watching the meetings of the Board, public sessions may be watched live on the portage county website.  If you cannot watch it live, the tape may be viewed at any time.  The obvious goal of this is to make government more open and to allow our citizens to see what is happening with their government.  Watch a meeting sometime and let us know what you think.  I love hearing input from the community.
The Board continues to follow the tedious path of selling the county owned nursing home.  The successful bidder has been very cooperative.  Three sets of lawyers are involved and the paperwork is substantial.  But it seems we are on track to close this deal in late Spring.
As many readers know, the year ended with another tight budget.  However, the Board still intends to replace cars in the aging fleet of the Sheriff’s department and begin some repairs on county buildings.  The Board is also looking at energy savings options while considering capital improvements.  We have narrowed the search for the engineers that will work with the county to guarantee energy cost savings.
On a final, bright note, a growing trend is for our citizens to make contributions to the Portage County Dog Warden’s office.  If you have not been to the pound lately, stop by for a visit sometime.  It is not the pound of “yesterday.”  The place looks fabulous with freshly painted murals and new pens.  Available dogs are listed on the internet and Facebook.  Our county dog warden, Dave McIntyre, has secured donations from individuals and dog food companies.  The county has not had to pay for dog food in over a year!  This office represents the best of efficient government and concerned citizens cooperating.  This joint effort produces a clean, safe, happy place for the dogs to live until they are placed in a permanent home.