Economic downturn benefits entire community
By Robin Scott
When local construction workers were laid off, they were left without alternatives. A group of men decided to make their own, by marketing the skills they had used in construction. By taking their skills directly to the public, they have been able to make ends meet, as well as provide an alternative source for skilled labor at a great savings to their community.
Dallam County Judge David Field, who has the responsibility for maintenance at the Dallam County Courthouse, heard about the men who were looking for work. What he discovered is that he could rely on them to accomplish various jobs while saving the county budget a greater expense, as well as complete tasks in a more than acceptable amount of time.
Just this past week the front and back steps to the County Courthouse were redone by the group. They also made repairs to the curb on the Denver Avenue side of the building and fixed the sidewalks that were damaged by the roots of elm trees pushing up through them. The entire repair took approximately two weeks, but Judge Field stated, “That’s start to finish and there were several days they couldn’t work because of freezing temperatures.”
Judge Field noted that he’s been able to use the work crew in the past. He called them to come back to do the work to the steps, sidewalk and curb. He commented, “They did a pretty good job, and I’d be happy to use them again.”
The total cost to the county was $10,000, which included all of the materials and labor. By using the services of local workers who were looking to supplement their income now earned in trucking, the county is able to save money while putting the money back into the community when the men are paid. The situation ends up being a win win for everyone.