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LYONS (Aug 19 10) – The Wayne County Board of Supervisors this morning set a special meeting for Sep. 9 at 7 p.m. to discuss a proposed local law that would take the collection of recycling materials out of the county’s hands and turn it over to private haulers.

In effect amending present county laws that establish the recycling program, the new measure would take aging Wayne Finger Lakes Authority trucks off the road while still keeping the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) open for an indefinite period, depending on how much material reaches it.

The sentiment of the board voiced in Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Economic Development Committee was to get the county out of the recycling business, although Galen Supervisor Steve Groat argued that the move will decrease competition and raise costs for homeowners, rather than the other way around.

Groat had personally surveyed every hauler currently doing business in Wayne County – six of them said the new law would drive them out of business because they would have to buy new equipment to handle the additional recycling load.

In other business, the supervisors discussed:

FOCUSED EARLY RETIREMENT – The county has identified 12 positions whose incumbents will be offered an early-retirement package, saving the county $1.5 millions if the employees opt into the program. In eight cases, when the incumbent retires, the job will be eliminated.

The jobs are: one sign maintenance worker, one maintenance equipment operator II, two maintenance operator I positions, two heavy equipment operator positions, one supervising public health nurse, one housekeeper, on senior audit clerk, one computer programmer, one maintenance foreman, and one senior cleaner.

TEMPORARY REGISTERED NURSES – The board agreed to advertise for three temporary Registered Nurses to assist with daily and weekend patient coverage for the county-run Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA).

Director of Public Health Diane Devlin brought the matter to the supervisors because she is shifting $50,000 from a “registered nurse” category to the “RPN – temporary” category and amending her budget.

“We have to come to a decision with what we’re going to do with the CHHA,” said Walworth Supervisor Bob Plant, wondering why the county was hiring temps when it doesn’t seem to be able to hire full-time employees.

“We need these positions filled to complete our obligations,” said Wolcott Supervisor Kim Park. She said if the county wanted to sell off the CHHA business, “it will take a year.”

Plant asked if paying temps for the remainder of the year would exceed the budget set aside for full-timers. Devlin told him the part-timers don’t get benefits, so their employment actually saves money.

“We can’t hire anybody because the community is aware we’re looking to end this program,” Devlin told the board. She said recent resignations had stressed the program’s ability to serve clients and if the trend were to continue, “we could be fined by the state.”

“I’m not even sure I can find any temps,” she added. “We’re in a real tight spot.”

Plant wanted to know what happened three months from now if the CHHA couldn’t hire temps.

“If we get to the point where we don’t have enough staff, I will stop taking referrals,” said Devlin.

Butler Supervisor Dave Spickerman warned that if the county is interested in selling the CHHA, it had to maintain it as a viable business.

Groat told the board that the county was shooting itself in the foot. “We’ve created this negative image ourselves,” he said. “I would want to jump off the ship myself if I knew the guy driving the boat was going to crash it.”


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