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County Road Department To Hire Two Engineers To Bolster Their Department Vacancies

August 7th, 2017 - 11:30 am

Clallam County – The Clallam County Road Department is looking to hire new engineers instead of spending the money to contract out for engineering services.

Over the course of the past 17 years, no new engineers have been hired. This attrition rate represents a reduction of 44% in the engineering and inspection staff. Five vacancies have opened for engineers since 2008, and the Road Department is expecting another retirement by late 2018.

County Engineer, Ross Tyler appeared before Commissioners Peach and Johnson at the Monday morning work session (Ozias was absent), and made his case for hiring not just one, but two engineers now.

Tyler said that the cost of consultant inspectors represents a significant annual expense to the road fund, and is directly attributable to the historic reduction in the engineering division staffing levels. Tyler whittled down the economic reasons for making such a move now.

County Administrator, Jim Jones, also voiced his support for the move.

Jones said that the use of consultants was a strategy used several years back due to the recession. It was thought that the federal government might cut back on grants and funding for projects. At that time the county opted to use consultants for an “as needed” basis.

Tyler also noted that hiring engineers who will stay long term with the county, helps maintain the county's institutional knowledge.

Both Commissioners Peach and Johnson supported the idea of making the hires. In order to make the hire, Jones indicated that any additional “FTE” hires for the 2017 budget needed a majority commissioner approval.

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