County's NACo awards come with benefits

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Editorial: July 20, 2012

TOPIC: County's NACo awards
OUR VIEW: Taxpayer benefits in the awards

It’s not often anyone or any governing body can say it has been recognized nationally. But we can boast that Hardin County government has been twice.

Hardin County recently received two Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties.

How rare is it for a Kentucky county to earn an award like this? Hardin County is one of only two counties in the state to receive an award from NACo this year.

Hardin County Deputy Judge-Executive Jim Roberts said, “We are thrilled to receive even one award.”

The county was recognized for its work in two areas: recycling and roadway treatment.

Hardin County residents have five recycling trailers set up around the county. The majority of the more than 100,000 residents in Hardin County have a recycling trailer within five miles of their homes, county officials have said.

With the Meade County Recycling Center processing the recyclables, Hardin County comes close to breaking even financially on the program. The combined efforts of residential involvement and a county-run service keeps the paper, cardboard and plastics out of the landfill.

Also, Hardin County road crews now attack an oncoming winter snowstorm in a different way and that has helped save even more money. Roads are treated with homemade brine, a saltwater solution that is created by the county. Officials say this effort saves county government about $4,000.

The awards show taxpayers many things, including that the governing body is looking for creative ways to save money and provide services, and that we can and should seek a better future as a county.

Judge-Executive Harry Berry and many others within the government framework have been the backbone of the recycling and brine projects.

This marks the second straight year Hardin County has landed a NACo award.

Last year, the county won for its step-in-grade salary plan, an automatic salary increase received each year on July 1 moving employees to the next pay step in their job classification.

The plan was created to have a uniform system offering equitable pay for similar jobs that doubles as an incentive to attract and retain strong employees.

NACo is based in Washington, D.C., and offers services to more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. The Achievement Awards are presented in 21 categories.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise's editorial board.