Washington County’s bank card coverage not works for county departments and a few want to see it up to date, county staff have advised commissioners.
Flite Freimann, director of the Washington County Job and Household Companies, mentioned a difficulty cropped up within the final month with the present coverage.
“On this month’s bank card invoice, we now have three costs which might be legitimate and approved costs, however are exterior our bank card coverage,” he mentioned.
The primary cost was for a lunch bought for a foster baby in Beverly.
“Our county coverage prohibits the acquisition of meals inside the county,” Freimann defined.
The second cost was a certified expense for fuel for a foster household’s automobile, to cowl their journey. “Nevertheless it went right into a non-county automobile, so it’s exterior the purview of the bank card,” he mentioned.
The third cost was to position a job commercial on Certainly.
“We’ve got had county staff utilizing their very own private bank cards to make these purchases, then getting reimbursed. We’ve got been reimbursing for these purchases for a very long time,” Freimann mentioned. “I feel that is an unfair tax on authorities staff, asking them to make use of their very own private bank cards. We have to put an finish to it. That’s why we now have a county bank card.”
He mentioned the issue is that these are allowable bills at each the state and county degree, however they don’t seem to be approved purchases on the county card.
Earlier than the merger of Youngsters Companies and JFS, this wasn’t a difficulty, he mentioned.
“We weren’t within the behavior of shopping for loads of meals for teenagers, previous to this,” Freimann mentioned.
He mentioned one of many larger issues now could be that there are few native distributors who will take buy orders. He mentioned Kmart, the Workingman’s Retailer and Bridgeport will take buy orders and JFS was in a position to work round not having a bank card.
“In case you received a job and tried to get off meals stamps and also you wanted a Carhartt jacket or work boots, we may go to the Workingman’s Retailer, buy these and they might ship us a invoice on a purchase order order,” Freimann defined. “Sadly, Kmart goes out of enterprise and we acquired notification from them that they might not settle for our buy orders.”
He mentioned if a dad or mum will get pulled over in the midst of the night time for a DUI and there’s a toddler within the automotive, when the dad or mum is taken to jail, Youngsters Companies tries to discover a member of the family to take the kid.
“We’ve received to purchase diapers, a change of garments and a blanket, that type of factor for the kid,” he mentioned. “I really like (retailer proprietor) Dave Schramm, however the Workingman’s Retailer doesn’t have loads of child garments. We’d like some (coverage) modifications right here. These are all allowable purchases, we simply must replace the bank card coverage to mirror that.”
These purchases had been only in the near past observed, because the previous Youngsters Companies bank cards had been lastly phased out after the division merger earlier this 12 months.
“I advised staff to cease utilizing their private bank cards. It’s unfair to ask that of the worker. It may be an actual burden,” Freimann mentioned “I received forward of my skis slightly bit saying to cease utilizing your private card. They did precisely as I instructed them to do after which ‘oops, we’re not caught up on this finish but.’”
He mentioned now they’re utilizing present playing cards from Walmart, however that choice has its drawbacks.
“We’re buying Walmart present playing cards and you should buy them in $100 increments, however frankly, it’s simply not probably the most environment friendly method,” he mentioned. “You are taking the $100 present card and it was $101, otherwise you take the $100 present card and it was $97 and don’t overlook this card has $2.50 on it. It’s not probably the most environment friendly approach to do it.”
He mentioned their objective is to amend the county coverage to permit Youngsters Companies, below emergency conditions, to buy meals, clothes and fundamental gadgets for youngsters.
JFS isn’t the one division having this concern. The constructing and IT departments even have to sometimes use private playing cards.
“They’re restricted with the variety of distributors that take buy orders,” Freimann mentioned. “Why are all of us muddling via this when it’s one thing we will repair?”
He introduced the matter earlier than the Washington County Commissioners throughout Thursday’s assembly and can convey it again when the matter is mentioned with division heads and the county auditor.
“It must be up to date since we’re doing extra issues on the fly,” mentioned Commissioner Ron Feathers.
He mentioned as soon as division heads meet and focus on the actual wants of every division, the coverage can be up to date.
“It’ll be accomplished earlier than the primary of the 12 months,” he added.
Chris Wilson, constructing official with the Southeast Ohio Constructing Division, was on the fee assembly and mentioned he’s having among the identical bank card points.
“One of many challenges our workplace has is with internet-based packages, resembling Dropbox, that require a bank card fee,” he mentioned. “Often I pay out of my private bank card and ask for a reimbursement.”
Wilson mentioned one in all his workarounds as a enterprise official is to have a private card that can also be a enterprise card.
“I could make a minimal fee till the county reimburses me,” he mentioned.
He mentioned with the digital world, his division has minimize paper consumption by nearly three-fourths.
“We attempt to do the whole lot by way of the web and the extra we will try this, the higher,” he mentioned,
Michele Newbanks could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a look:
• Division heads want to amend the county bank card coverage.
• The coverage doesn’t mirror how some departments should pay by private bank card, then be reimbursed.
• As soon as that is mentioned, will probably be introduced earlier than the county commissioners.
• Some state and county approved purchases aren’t allowed on county bank cards.
Supply: Instances analysis.