Carroll Digest

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

January 14, 2004

`Procurement cards' to be distributed to county workers

In an effort to cut paperwork and save money, Carroll County government has implemented a new payment system that will allow employees to use government credit cards to make minor work-related purchases.

About 61 employees, mostly from the county Bureau of Facilities, are expected to receive "procurement cards" in the next eight weeks, said Cindy Miller, a senior buyer with the county's Bureau of Purchasing.

The procurement cards will function like conventional credit cards: Employees will have a $2,500 limit with the maximum of $500 allowed per purchase, Miller said yesterday. In some cases, department heads will have higher limits for emergency use, she said.

In discussing the county policy for using procurement cards, Miller told the commissioners that safeguards are in place, including blocks on travel and entertainment purchases. Employees also will undergo training.

The county can place stricter guidelines on the cards by limiting the type of products and stores where purchases can be made, Miller said.

The county could see cost savings from using the cards: Some vendors offer discounts or rebates to card users because the merchants receive payment faster than they do through billing invoices, Miller said.

"This is another method of payment to procure goods and services and to help county employees do their jobs more effectively and limit downtime," Miller said after her presentation.

Audit shows county in good financial health

Carroll County has received an unqualified opinion - a clean bill of financial health - from its auditor, Wooden & Benson, for its fiscal 2003 budget and finances.

County Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman presented to the commissioners yesterday the county's comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30. The county has $428 million in assets, including those related to land, buildings and equipment, and $255 million in liabilities.

A $3.7 million surplus will be carried over to the coming fiscal 2005 budget, Curfman said.

$53,900 bid approved for asbestos cleanup

The Carroll County commissioners approved yesterday a $53,900 bid from a Sykesville company to clean up asbestos in the former Carroll Community College schoolhouse at 300 S. Center St.

Retro Environmental Inc. will remove tiles and pipe insulation as part of its cleanup, said Cindy Miller of the county's Bureau of Purchasing.

The county received more than a dozen bids on the project. This is the county's first business with Retro Environmental, but Miller said its references were excellent.

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