MARIETTA - The Washington County commissioners approved the position of Washington County dog warden to be transferred permanently to the Washington County Sheriff's Office at their Thursday meeting.
The commissioners appointed sheriff's deputy Kelly Schubert to the position on a trial basis in January after the previous dog warden retired. Though she is supervised by the sheriff's office, her pay is administered by the sheriff's office and the county, an arrangement that creates unnecessary difficulties, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
"Now it's kind of cumbersome. This way it is going to be handled internally by the sheriff's office," he said.
Schubert's appointment as dog warden has been a tremendous success so far, said Mincks.
When the position is transferred on Jan. 1, the sheriff's office will oversee the operational and financial aspects of the position, he said.
The county commissioners also approved for the sheriff's office to begin using nine Multi-Agency Radio Communication Systems throughout the county. On the current system, the office only has communication coverage in 65 percent of the county. Using the MARCS will up that to a coverage area of 95 percent, said Mincks.
In other business:
* The commissioners listened to an explanation of upcoming changes in county employees' flexible spending accounts.
"It's all online this year," said Susan Burkhart, Washington County safety and loss coordinator.
County employees will have to be taught how to go through the online enrollment process. In addition, Aflac, which previously administered the flex spend accounts, has contracted with WageWorks, meaning money left in flexible spending accounts at the end of the year will be temporarily frozen while the transfer takes place, said Burkhart.
* The commissioners approved the continuation of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District as the administrator of activities under the Community Development Block Grant.
* Commissioners signed a request to terminate a loan secured from the Ohio Water Development Authority to provide access to a sewage system for residents of Oak Grove. That project will be put on hold indefinitely because the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency made sewage access for Devola residents the priority, said Washington County Commissioner Cora Marshall.
"We took out a planning loan for there," she said. "We took one out for Devola because we knew these projects were coming up with Ohio EPA and at the time we didn't know which one that they were going to be mandating."