Routt County sheriff to add half-time employee

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— The Routt County Board of Commissioners gave unanimous approval Tuesday for Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins to add a half-time position in his record-keeping department with the understanding that Wiggins will seek to make the job permanent during the 2012 budget process.

Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said Wiggins is seeking to move the start date for the position up to August and continue it at least through December so some of the necessary record-keeping tasks, including those associated with the evidence locker, can be kept up to date during a period of intense training. Sheriff’s Office personnel will devote considerable time to training on new emergency communications and record-keeping systems being adopted by multiple agencies in Routt County and funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“He knew he needed the new position to get through this process right now,” Stahoviak said.

Commissioner Doug Monger said the permanence of the new half-time position wouldn’t be determined until it is discussed in the budget process this fall.

The five months of salary approved outside the budget process by the commissioners Tuesday are expected to cost the county about $18,670, but the amount won’t be finalized until they approve the salary level as a consent item on the July 19 agenda.

County Manager Tom Sullivan said he continues to review the necessity of every county position that opens through attrition in an era of austerity that began in 2009. That’s when the commissioners invoked pay cuts on most county employees and eliminated 24 full-time equivalents from the payroll.

“The commissioners and I believe that right now we’re at minimum staffing,” Sullivan said.

A new era

The commissioners voted in June to sign a $985,153 contract that will introduce a computer-aided dispatch and record-keeping system to county and city law enforcement.

The contract with Spillman Technologies Inc., of Salt Lake City, will pay for communications software, computer servers and extensive training that will empower police and dispatchers to use mapping technology and share information in real time over a 3G cellular network.

The cost of the project is being covered by a $1.547 million federal grant that has its source in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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