It is estimated that by closing the Sherman Highway Department buidling during the summer months, around $150,000 would be saved by the county.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, there will be a discussion about the shop at the Sherman Fire Department. About a month ago, an announcement was made that the shop could be closing during the summer months in order to save money. The proposal was announced following the retirement of a District Supervisor.
George Spanos, county public facilities director, said the county was looking at the possibility of eliminating the supervisor position. By doing so, it could save around $110,000.
"You have the individual's salary, you have the benefits which is approximately 70 percent of his salary," Spanos said. "That individual does take a car home, so you have to include the capital investment of a vehicle, usage and maintenance."
Additionally, there would be utility savings associated with closing the shop in the summer, which Spanos estimated would be around $40,000.
"It's very hard to quantify. In the summer, we still need some utilities turned on," Spanos said.
Further savings could be recognized by the county if it goes through with closing during the summer months. Spanos said there has been a proposal made to the legislature by a person opposing the changes. In the proposal, other significant cost-saving ideas are presented, which will be discussed Tuesday.
"Like everything, there (are) two sides of the coin," Spanos said. "There (are) pros and cons. We believe that the pros outweigh the cons."
Spanos recommend that anyone with ideas to save money regarding the shop bring them forward, as the county is willing to review any potential savings. However, other than the initial overview figure, no additional analysis of cost-saving benefits has been done up to this point.
And, Spanos is not sure if one will be done in the future.
The proposal is to consolidate the shop on the west side of Route 430, instead having just one shop on the east side. This way, there would be less for the county to maintain. Spanos said if a buyer offered enough money, the county would be willing to part with the shop to on the west.
"If an entity is interested in our facility and they pay us enough money that we can build a three-bay maintenance facility across the street, we only have to maintain one facility and it would be further savings in the future," Spanos said. "It's all hard to quantify how many times you would go to the Sherman area ... What distance is the right distance?"
County Executive Greg Edwards plans to join Spanos in Sherman for Tuesday's meeting, an experience which Edwards said he is looking forward to.
"It has been my experience, every time I have had an opportunity to meet with groups of people in Chautauqua County, about either specific issues or general ones, it has been very helpful to me and, I believe, very helpful to those who attend," Edwards said. "Direct communication back and forth, asking questions, providing perspective directly, is a very rare thing in today's world."
The projected cost-savings are also significant to the taxpayers of Chautauqua County.
"If I can participate and help make a decision that saves the taxpayers that amount of money, I want to pay attention to the facts and I want to help make the decision be the right one," Edwards said.
The main focus of Tuesday's meeting will be to collect information and have a civil discussion before making any final decisions regarding the shop.