September 19, 2014

Housing Department becoming part-time office on Feb. 1

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — The head and sole employee of the Arenac County Housing Department, Ruth Harrison, did her part on Jan. 20 to make the budget woes of Arenac County a little easier to handle by volunteering to the Arenac County Board of Commissioners to change her office to part-time.

Official Feb. 1, the Housing Department will be open 21 hours per week rather than 35.

“In the past I had tremendously more funding than I do now,” Harrison said. “I just feel I can handle it (workload) in three days and that would be Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.”

“We’re quite thankful that she came to us and requested that,” said Board Chairman Raymond Daniels. “She will still receive her medical insurance as she was. … Everything else will be prorated.”

Although Harrison voluntarily made the suggestion of moving to part-time, the office may not permanently remain a three-day department.

“If the need arises and she’s able to get more money from grants, she may be required to work one or more two more days a week,” Daniels said.

In other Housing Department news, the office will be switching rooms with the Arenac County Drain Commission Office.

While Daniels says the switch is a minor issue, he added that there could be some benefits.

“It may solve a little bit of the heating issues on that side of the building because some of the registers were blocked by filing cabinets,” he said, adding Drain Commissioners in the past have also said a slightly larger room to operate in would make it easier to read large maps necessary in monitoring the county’s drains.

The Arenac County Housing Department works towards assisting low-income and disabled homeowners with safe, warm and sanitary housing through grants.

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