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Commission looks to hire assistant engineer

Franklin County Engineer David Palmer has two years left until retirement, and the Franklin County Commission made changes to his contract to reflect that while preparing for the future.

Palmer’s current contract ends Jan. 19, 2021, and instead of approving a typical four-year contract, the County Commission approved a two-year contract with the stipulation he will hire an assistant engineer.

“This way he can train them during that time,” said Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore.

Moore said that by training with Palmer for two years, the assistant engineer will be able to go through all of the annual duties the county faces each year, such as forming the budget and applying for large grants.

Palmer’s new contract will be in force from Jan. 19, 2021, until Jan. 31, 2023, before he officially retires from the county. Once Palmer retires, the assistant engineer will step into his place as county engineer.

The job for assistant county engineer will be posted until Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. The hiring may take place in March, but according to the contract, Palmer must have someone hired by April 30.

County commissioners discussed whether the contract for the assistant engineer should be for two years.

When the commissioners voted, two commissioners voted in favor of the proposed contract, and two voted against it, requiring Moore to cast the deciding vote. Moore voted in favor of the assistant engineer training for the two years under Palmer to make the vote 3-2.

“With that, they will go through two different budget hearings, plus there is lots of reporting they have to go through,” Moore said. “Then they will also go through the paving project that we do every August and everything that has to be done with that.”

The county commission also approved the name change of the Blue Springs Water and Fire Protection Authority to the Blue Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

This name change will move the organization under the 501C3 tax bracket as a tax-exempt organization.