Riley County commissioners were presented a restructuring plan for the county’s fire district.
Current fire chief and emergency management director Pat Collins will be retiring at the end of the year. The restructuring plan includes hiring a new fire chief, and two part time positions. HR Manager Cindy Volanti says the new positions will include a part time codes inspector and a radio engineer.
The proposed fire chief change is to have the position and the emergency management position split up. Since Collins currently holds both positions, he wants the two positions to be separate going forward.
“Realistically , we don’t need two department heads when one can do it,” says Collins.
Collins is currently serving as the emergency management director full time due to the emergency declaration.
The fire chief position will review and approve run reports, all payroll and purchasing, applications, and provides guidance and direction to fire staff. Collins says there will not be much change to the rest of the department other than the other two new positions.
“Our vision here is to create just one department, with two divisions; the emergency management and the fire district,” says Collins.
The timeline for for hiring and training for these new positions will be similar to the one used for Planning and Development. They will announce the position on June 1st, 2020, review the applications until July 10th, and then make a selection by July 20th.
The fiscal impact includes cross training of the Director position, which has already been within the 2020 budget. Funding for the new positions will be established within the 2021 budget, based on position approvals by the commissioners.
Commissioners had some issues with the new positions, specifically because they were part time. They argued that the tasks involved with these positions require full time work. Volanti and Collins will bring this proposal back revised in two weeks.