County realizing major savings with new contracts

An estimated savings of $24,000 a year should be seen with new copier, printer contract

The theme of a Shelby County Commissioners' Court meeting last week could have been on saving taxpayers money.

From a pair of separate but unanimous actions at the Dec. 9 meeting, the county should realize a saving exceeding $84,000 over each of the next three years over what it has been spending for copiers and printers and for workers' compensation insurance.

More than $72,000 in that savings, about $24,000 a year, should come with a new contract for copies and printers while another $12,900 in savings was achieved by the county's positive loss record for workers' compensation claims over the past three years.

The court unanimously approved renewing a contract with Innovative Office Systems, a Lufkin firm with new ownership which is working aggressively with the county to bring about more efficiency and savings, according to Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison.

On the current lease agreement the county is paying $81,477 yearly or $6,789 a month for copying equipment and printers in a variety of departments, in several departments. That figure is down substantially from the more than $100,000 a year the county had been paying for those services when she took office, Harbison said.

Innovative's owner has presented the county a proposal which will realize even more in savings.

“What he's proposing is bringing in all new copiers and all new printers, he's going to switch everything out,” she said. On the new lease the firm's proposal is about $24,000 a year less than the county has been paying over each of the past three years.

“What he's proposing on the new lease, monthly would be about $4,474.84, and yearly would be $57,298.08,” Harbison said. “So that would be a savings of $24,179.40 and we're getting all new equipment.”

The contract also includes maintenance, labor and toner, said Pct. 4 Commissioner Tom Bellmyer.

“The only things it doesn't include are staples and paper,” he said.

Shelby County Auditor Clint Porterfield said the county currently has $86,000 budgeted for copiers and printers.

“I would like to add two things. Our current budget is $86,000,” Porterfield told the commissioners. “In fiscal year 2020 we spent $94,000, because not only do we have a copier lease, but we also had excess copy charges, so this is a substantial savings from the contract we currently have.

Pct. 1 Commissioned Roscoe McSwain moved to accept the new proposal while Commissioner Charles Barr seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

The commissioners also discussed the possibility of adding copiers used in the justice of the peace offices where in most cases those offices have purchased copiers on their own from Walmart or other locations and are buying toner separately on their own. Those additions to the contract could be brought up at a future date.

Alison Scull, with Bounds Insurance, addressed the court on renewing an inter-local agreement with the Deep East Texas Self Insurance Fund for the county's workers' compensation insurance.

“Shelby County has preformed really well in their losses for these past three years,” Scull said. “So they have come in with a discount this year. You're going to save about $4,300 (per year on premiums).”

The bid came in at $57,705 for the new quote for three years fixed coverage.

“The main thing Deep East Texas looks at is your performance and you all look really good,” Scull said. In addition, the county will qualify for about $1,700 a year for the next three years to purchase safety equipment, which can be divided up among the county's four precincts.

The funds can be used for a variety of safety needs from first aide kits, eye wash kits, rain slickers and more, she said.

Shelby County Auditor Clint Porterfield said his review of the workers' comp contract drew no questions. Scull said the new contract will run through 2024.

“We have no issues and make a recommendation to renew,” he said. Pct. 1 Commissioner Roscoe McSwain made the motion to accept the workers compensation proposal, which was seconded by Tom Bellmyer, Pct. 4, and unanimously approved by the court

In other business, commissioners opened the single bid submitted for a 2005 Cadillac deemed surplus by the county and which was seized by the Shelby County District Attorney's Office. The $500 bid was awarded to LaTonya Buckley. Officials also approved paying weekly expenses and the county's payroll.


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