The Putnam County Highway Department needs additional employees as it gets ready to conduct more paving projects in-house.
Road Supervisor Randy Jones said Monday he needs at least three new employees to create a new paving crew.
“I’ve got to have some people that has some qualification to do this paving. I’ve got plenty of good working people, but non of them has ever worked on a paver,” Jones said. “It’s an art, just like everything else is. You’ve got to know the do’s and don’ts.”
The Highway Department has experienced problems with getting contractors to complete local projects in recent years. Jones said that’s because the state’s IMPROVE Act has pushed companies to larger jobs in the Nashville area.
“The IMPROVE Act brought us in some extra money, but the IMPROVE Act also put a lot of extra money in the state’s pot,” Jones said. “These contractors are going to go where they can lay 30,000 ton instead of coming where they can lay 3,000 ton.”
The Highway Department’s 2019-2020 spending plan has $6.3 million in projected expenditures, or about $500,000 more than last year. Jones said a majority of the proposed increase would cover the new employees and materials.
“Everything that we have to deal with has went up, even our rock and asphalt went up this year,” Jones said.
Jones presented his budget to the Putnam County Budget Committee on Monday. The committee took no action on the highway department’s budget.