Aiken County has recently undergone personnel restructuring, which led to almost $17,000 in savings.
The Aiken County budget included several new positions and reclassifications with a net impact on the budget of about $245,000, said County Administrator Clay Killian.
The restructuring of several County departments, as well as new hires, cost about $262,000, Killian said.
Approximately $258,000 became available through the deletion of several vacant positions. Subtract those funds from the $241,000 in positions that were added or redefined in this year's County budget, and close to $17,000 is being saved.
New hires approved by Council in the County's 2013-2014 budget included two additional appraisers for approximately $94,000 and an operation supervisor in the treasurer's office for about $60,000.
The budget also includes a total of $108,003 to reclassify positions in the solicitor's office and to reclassify a public defender position. Reclassification means adjusting the level of a position due to a change in duties or responsibilities.
Some of the changes due to the restructuring included moving Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism under the purview of Assistant County Administrator Brian Sanders.
That department was under Assistant County Administrator Andrew Merriman who oversees external services such as public works, animal control, EMS and planning.
Sanders manages the internal services such as risk management and personnel. Sanders once served as the County's recreation department's director before becoming the assistant county administrator, Killian said.
Killian said the move made sense because Sanders, who also has a degree relating to the recreation field, has expertise that could benefit that department.
“A large part of restructuring was recognizing the talents and skills that we have on staff and better utilizing those talents that they have,” Killian said.
Killian said the recreation department's assistant administrator position has been eliminated, but they will fill the vacant director's position that was most recently held by Brad Barnes.
Another part of the organizational restructuring was conducted in the Public Works Department.
The buildings and grounds section was part of that department, but became a separate entity with Kip Gunter as its supervisor.
Killian said that Gunter did such a great job in putting more emphasis in maintaining County facilities that buildings and grounds were placed back into the Public Works division.
Now, Gunter is the assistant public works director, which is a newly created position, and is working alongside Public Works Director John Dyches.
Gunter will oversee buildings and grounds as well as roads and bridges and the vehicle maintenance shop.
Amy Banton is the County beat reporter for the Aiken Standard.
Originally from Rustburg, Va., she graduated from Randolph Macon Woman's College and has been with the newspaper since 2010.