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Public works hire put on hold
April 05, 2013 · Meghan Hunter & Jake Krob

Citing a lack of funds to do projects in-house with an additional employee, Lisbon water/ wastewater superintendent Travis Bagby recommended the city not hire a fourth public works person.

The council last week, minus an absent Travis Jubeck, unanimously approved putting the brakes on the hire.

The city's budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1 includes funds for a fourth public works employee. The idea was that having another person would allow city staff to do projects in-house, instead of hiring a contractor, and thus possibly saving the city money.

The main issue, Bagby said, is there isn't funding to tackle projects the fourth public works employee would be needed for.

That related to another agenda item at the council's March 25 meeting. The council approved transferring $182,367 from the city's water fund to a fund used to pay for a booster station project. That project was on South Washington Street on the east side of the road just past Cemetery Road.

"I was planning on that money," Bagby said, referring to its use for other projects. He said he assumed the transfer had already happened. "It does affect what we were planning on for the future."

Council member Doug O'Connor said although the city would "love to have a fourth guy" in public works, it doesn't make sense to hire someone if the money isn't there to pay for projects the person would work on.

Bagby said he doesn't want to hire another person and then not complete projects due to lack of funds.

"I don't want to be the one with egg on my face," he said.

With the council's approval to not make the hire, Bagby said he'll wait a year to see what water/sewer revenues are and make a recommendation then.

Mayor Beryl O'Connor said that in 2013/14 some local option sales tax funds will be available for projects.

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