At Ada County, we have been working diligently to ensure that tax and fee payers pay no more than necessary for county services. One of the tools we have used to cut costs without adversely affecting service is consolidation.
The Communications Department has been consolidated into the Department of Administration, and two positions were eliminated, saving taxpayers almost $192,000. Additional savings from the subsequent reorganization of the Department of Administration saved another $57,000.
When long-time Solid Waste Services Director Dave Neal retired late last year after 34 years of service to the County, we consolidated the landfill under the Operations Department, saving tax and fee payers nearly $88,000.
Mr. Neal did a tremendous job managing the landfill and was instrumental in bringing the Gas-to-Energy program to Ada County in which a private company burns the methane gas generated by the landfill and converts it to energy. Not only does this program eliminate much of the odor affiliated with landfill gas, but it helps the county meet EPA and DEQ requirements for disposal of the gas as well. An added benefit is the fact that the program generates about a quarter of a million dollars worth of revenue for the landfill, allowing the county to keep fees at least somewhat lower than they would otherwise be.
The Gas-to-Energy program saves additional dollars, as well. Last year, DEQ initially wanted the county to place an additional landfill gas-burning flare at the landfill – at a cost of nearly $1 million — to continue to address landfill gas issues; however, Commission Chairman Fred Tilman worked closely with DEQ leaders and was able to get them to accept the gas-to-energy engines in lieu of another costly flare.
Total savings to county tax and fee payers: Over $1.3 million.