General Services Grounds and Facilities Maintenance Workers



Request approval to utilize current contract funds for two grounds and facility maintenance positions to be assigned to the Public Works Division at Grade 7



Tucker, Foley, Shadman, Freitas





April 5, 2006


ACTION:                                  INFORMATION:   



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Over the past two to three years, the Board has had various work sessions regarding the importance of ensuring attractive urban areas and addressing other needs resulting from the County’s growth and urbanization.  In addition, the current fiscal year is the first for the new Storm Water Program that has established higher expectations for the establishment and maintenance of adequate storm water facilities to meet Federal and State mandates.  This will require maintenance of our storm water facilities on a regularly scheduled rather than as needed basis, in addition to the immediate response needed for systems failures as they occur.  In addition, staff has recently been notified by VDOT that because of budget cuts, the frequency of their maintenance crews mowing the road sides and medians will be greatly reduced, likely requiring additional effort by the County.  Because of these new expectations, the Department of General Services has recently evaluated the increased demand on the department, available funding, and the County’s arrangements for handling current levels of service. 


The Division of Public Works, the division within General Services that would handle the duties outlined above, currently consists of the following operations: building and facility maintenance, custodial services, and copy center and mail delivery.  Some of the major responsibilities of the division, excluding new expectations, include: landscaping, street sign installation, the repair and maintenance of County buildings, storm water facility maintenance, roadside and median mowing, and other exterior maintenance.  Historically, these duties have primarily been completed with a combination of service contracts and reliance on the Virginia of Transportation (VDOT).  To address changing demands, while also maintaining current levels of service, staff has reviewed how to better utilize current funding spent on private contracts to address the County’s growing needs and expectations. 



Goal 3.3:  Develop and implement policies that address the county's growth and urbanization while continuing to enhance the factors that contribute to the quality of life in the county



In considering how best to address increased levels of service and the need to respond more quickly to circumstances in the field, General Services believes that the County can no long rely almost solely on contracted services.  Beyond current staffing to provide basic custodial and maintenance services for County buildings and grounds, General Services currently has only one staff member responsible for the maintenance of “public” facilities.  This position has primarily been focused on the management of contracts for storm water facility maintenance, median mowing and the installation and maintenance of street signs.  Given the new expectations, staff believes that utilizing some portion of current contract funding to hire two grounds and facility maintenance staff would best address our needs at this time.  This plan would not eliminate the need for service contracts, but would allow us to direct the work needed on a day to day basis instead of being placed on a contractor’s schedule and accommodated as our needs can best fit into their work schedule.   To effectively meet the higher level of expectations, staff believes this approach will provide a balance between contracting out services and having the ability to respond quickly to issues in the field and ensure quality control on an ongoing basis.


The primary responsibilities of these new staff will be storm water facility maintenance and minor repairs, roadside mowing, sidewalk vegetation control, and improving the aesthetic conditions of our entrance corridors and other urban areas.  Other duties beyond these higher levels of service include maintaining the exterior of the County Office Building on McIntire Road to free up Parks and Recreation personnel to concentrate their efforts on park facilities and trail and greenway maintenance and responding to calls of illegal dumping along rural roads of the County.




Through careful scrutiny of the current and proposed FY 2006/07 budgets, we believe these two positions can be financed without requesting additional funding.  It is estimated that a total of $131,000 will be necessary to start this program.  Of that total, $50,000 would be a one time expense for the purchase of necessary equipment, i.e. vehicle, trailer, mowers, trimmers, and other hand and power tools.  The balance would be recurring expenses for salaries, benefits, and administrative support.  The money would come from a combination of accounts from the Public Works and Stormwater budgets as follows:


1-1000-43005-301210:                            Stormwater Contract Services                 $65,000

1-1000-43002-331901:                            Detention Basin Maintenance                  $24,000

1-1000-43002-331920:                            Polo Grounds Property Maintenance        $  2,000

1-1000-43002-332200:                            Grounds Maintenance Contract               $10,000

1-9010-43100-800666:                            Facility Maintenance                              $30,000

Total:                                                                                                              $131,000


Again, funding for contracted professional services will remain in the budget to balance contracted services with the proposed General Services staff.



Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors approve the hiring of two General Services Grounds/Facility Maintenance Workers at a Grade 7 from existing funding as outlined above.


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