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County telcom audit nets $62k in savings

A much-ballyhooed communications audit contracted by the Laurens County Council identified more than $60,000 in savings for the county, according to a report given to council at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Billy Wilson, purchasing director for the county, reported to council members that the Spyglass Audit discovered $62,423.16 in potential savings. That amount has been paid to Spyglass per the agreement, but those funds will be future savings for the county, he said.

Wilson said he and Laurens County Emergency Services Director Joey Avery reviewed the audit and met with each county department over an eight-week period.

“We came to the conclusion of cutting 32 lines, one circuit and adjusting 13 plans,” Wilson said in his report.

Wilson also reported that the county’s telephone provider will be conducting efficiency studies with the county going forward.

“Our telephone provider is now conducting a Telecommunication Traffic Study on how we can better utilize the equipment we already have in place, and we should see some cost savings next fiscal year,” he said.

Wilson reported another $10,656 in wireless savings through a self-audit of the county’s fire and EMS departments conducted with Director of Fire Services Greg Lindley and EMS Director Matt Pennington.

“We were already working on these plans and were making adjustments and cuts to plans,” Wilson said. “Those savings have totaled $10,656, and those savings are the county’s and are not shared with The Spyglass Group.

County Council agreed to contract with The Spyglass Group on the recommendation of Laurens County

Administrator Jon Caime in July on a 4-2 vote, but Councilman Ted Nash sought to reconsider his vote in favor of the audit, leading to a small furor at the Aug. 9 meeting over council’s apparent reluctance to conduct the audit with Spyglass, even after Spyglass had discovered a 20-year-old unused data line that was costing the county $3,300 per month.

Caime said the savings presented by the Spyglass audit accounts for 15 percent of the county’s telecommunications budget.

“It’s 15 percent of our budget for telecommunications,” he said. “So, it’s a pretty substantial savings. All we have to do now is figure out how we move forward.”

Caime said new protocols for the additions of new lines and devices are to be put in place and will all go through Wilson’s office.

In other business Tuesday night:

Council was to vote on extending its suspension of the state’s “blue laws,” which allow local businesses to open before 1:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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