Facilities department keeps county's buildings up in down economy
by Jessica Loeding
Sep 22, 2012 | 1367 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Necole Shook sorts through documents to be shredded Wednesday at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center. Shredding documents through records retention is one of the responsibilities of Bartow County’s Facilities Department. JESSICA LOEDING/The Daily Tribune News
Necole Shook sorts through documents to be shredded Wednesday at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center. Shredding documents through records retention is one of the responsibilities of Bartow County’s Facilities Department. JESSICA LOEDING/The Daily Tribune News
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* Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series looking at the county’s budget by department.

Steve Stewart and the 15 employees of the Bartow County Facilities Department clean, spray and shred across the county, maintaining all of the county facilities in addition to museums and annexes.

“First of all, our primary duties are taking care of this building [the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center] inside. All the cleanliness, vacuuming, window cleaning, restrooms, that’s daily stuff that we have to do,” said Stewart, the department head. “Also, [we] take care of Rose Lawn museum, take care of Noble Hill museum — that’s out in Cassville.”

Stewart, who will leave his post in January after being elected tax commissioner in an Aug. 21 runoff, runs the department on $1,026,900, with $345,000 allotted to the 16 employees, six of which are part time.

In addition to the Frank Moore building and museums, the facilities department oversees all fire and EMS buildings, the public defender’s office and the old and new annex buildings.

Behind employee costs, the largest line item is electricity at $170,000, followed by pest control at $100,000.

“My budget runs on energy. If gas prices are high or we have a cold winter, obviously my gas budget is going to go up. If we have a hot summer, my electricity budget is going to go up,” Stewart said. “The hard costs are the salaries. Those are just solid all the way through, but energy costs are usually what run my budget up or down.”

Natural gas is budgeted at $43,000, water and sewage at $13,000; R&M heating and air comes in at $20,000.

Contracted services follow energy costs, according to Stewart.

“It includes our elevator maintenance, our heating and air maintenance. … We’ve got a well-being contract,” he said. “We’ve got a carpet cleaning contract, pest control contract. That’s about it. We’ve got a couple more outside of that.”

Other lines items in the facilities budget include: disposal services, $11,000; custodial services, $12,000; contracted building and grounds, $40,000; general supplies, $12,000; housekeeping supplies, $6,000; uniforms, $2,000.

In addition to building maintenance, Stewart handles all customer service complaints. “That’s pretty involved, too, a lot of times.”

Facilities employees also shred all documents disposed of by the county. Those additional demands are handled on a budget that Stewart said has been cut in the economic downturn.

“Our budgets have actually gone down because of the furlough days, plus just cutting back, too,” he said.