Social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing aren’t the only changes coming to the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The department’s director, Chris Kummer, told Warren Fiscal Court on Friday about a new digital-based administrative system – largely an outgrowth of the pandemic – that he expects will save his department time and money.

The magistrates approved a new five-year parks department contract with XBS Copier Solutions that Kummer projects will cost about $43,000 a year when fully implemented. That’s much lower than the $185,000 per year now expended on administrative functions like payroll and purchase orders.

“As we have operated a lot differently during these hard times, it has allowed us to review our processes and do some critical self-examination,” Kummer said. “We looked at what processes we can improve upon.”

Working with XBS, Kummer said his department came up with a customized system that will reduce the need for parks personnel to bring paperwork to the county parks department office at Basil Griffin Park.

“Using this new platform, our employees can fill out time sheets and send them electronically,” Kummer said. “That’s going to be a huge time saver. We’ll simplify not just one area but a good half-dozen processes. It will save the county quite a bit of money.”

Kummer said his department will be getting equipment from XBS “in the next 30 days” that will allow for creation of digital work orders and purchase orders and other functions traditionally handled by paper.

“We always want to operate more efficiently and streamline our administrative operations,” he said. “This will allow us to use our time more efficiently.”

Fiscal court on Friday also approved issuing industrial revenue bonds for two companies planning to locate manufacturing plants in the county.

They approved issuing industrial revenue bonds of up to $80 million for Nova Steel USA, which announced in October plans to purchase an existing “speculative” building in the Kentucky Transpark and launch a manufacturing plant that is expected to eventually employ up to 110 people.

Also approved were industrial revenue bonds of up to $400 million for Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp., which announced plans this month to build in the Transpark a 450,000-square-foot plant for manufacturing tops for aluminum cans and eventually employing as many as 200 people.

The magistrates also granted Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon authority to sign an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to improve U.S. 31-W (Nashville Road) from south of Ky. 242 (Rich Pond Road) to Dillard Road.

Included in the state’s highway plan for the current biennium, the $11.69 million project is for widening and improvements to a 2.6-mile stretch of U.S. 31-W from south of Ky. 242 to Dillard Road.

Wes Watt, public information officer for the KYTC’s District 3 office in Bowling Green, said the project should go out to bid in late spring or summer. Construction will start sometime after that.

Fiscal court also approved:

  • spending $5,780 to purchase an equipment trailer for the parks department from Miles Trailer Sales.
  • spending $2,700 to purchase a heater from Big Red Supply for a new maintenance bay at Phil Moore Park.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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