By Steve White firstname.lastname@example.org
How far will Hall County go to save a buck? Instead of hiring movers, elected officials are doing some heavy lifting to help taxpayers by dismantling an old filing system at the courthouse.
As the sun rose over the courthouse on a crisp August morning, Gary Quandt had already worked up a sweat.
Deep in a backroom, members of the county board of supervisors were tearing apart an old machine.
Quandt explained, "Hall County had an old Lektriever"
"For the Clerk of the District Court it held thousands of records," Board Chair Pam Lancaster said.
But no more. "I dismantled it the other day," Quandt said.
The Lektriever resembles something from a dry cleaner, except with rotating shelves of court files.
Quandt, Lancaster, and the rest of the board learned about the outdated filing system during recent budget talks.
Lancaster said, "It was going to cost us $1,400 to have it removed and Gary said, 'Hey I can take it apart if all of you come and help me haul it down the stairs.'"
Quandt led a scrap drive a year ago to raise money for the Hall County Hero Flight, sending World War II veterans to the nation's capitol. That inspired him to organize a different kind of scrap drive.
He said, "Six of the supervisors are here today helping carry it out and we're going to basically recycle it, because it's going to the junkyard."
"We save on both sides," Lancaster said with a smile. "We save on the fact we're not going to have to pay to take it out and we're going to get a little money for scrap iron."
"Instead of paying $1,400 we're going to end up getting $2-300 out of it," Quandt said. After a trip to the scrap yard, the county netted just short of $186.
It may not be much, but officials think it's a symbolic gesture.
Lancaster said, "It's an effort to show the taxpayer we really do care and we do try to make every dollar count. That's really what this is about."
Quandt agreed. "Hall County Board's trying to save money wherever it can and this is one way."
The Friday morning wrecking crew caps what's been a busy week for the board. They held a normal meeting on Tuesday, in addition to a series of budget hearings in recent weeks.
Lancaster said, "We spend something short of 30 hours and that was not including committee meetings working on the budget, line by line, making sure every dollar counts."
She joked as she showed off her hands, as she carried drawers from the filing cabinet system.
"I've been here 16 years and I've never had to wear work gloves before to carry metal down
stairs so this is a first and it's been a great experience. We've worked together and had fun
doing it," she said.
Quandt said it showed the power of working together.
He said, "I'm a recycler and it's good for the taxpayer all the way around."