Consolidating two agencies locations discussed at Washington County commission

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Job and Family Services and the Board of Elections addressed the Washington County commissioners Thursday on concerns of a possible move.

After the children services merger was approved late last year, JFS director Flite Freimann was tasked with exploring the possibility of consolidating his agency and children services into one location.

The intent is to save money and more efficiently deliver services.

Freimann presented his findings and believes consolidation to Davis Avenue (current Children Services home) is the best long-term option, both for space and costs. He also noted that JFS would be able to pay for the move out of its own budget, not costing the county any more money.

However, that move would require the Board of Elections to move which could then cause a chain reaction of other agency moves as proposed relocation sites would force out other groups.

Commission president David White also expressed dismay at the fact that there are a number of costs associated with those secondary moves have not yet been calculated.

"The assumption that staying the same is the cost saving is erroneous," Freimann said. "The cost savings is in consolidation. Remaining in two separate buildings will cost the county money, this year, next year, and every year thereafter."

"A more comprehensive plan has to be in place for a move of that proportion," White said, "and whether that move would be five years down the road or 10 years down the road, it can be done in a more orderly fashion that would not disrupt all the county services."

White added that he believes a move by the Board of Elections should not be done until after the 2020 presidential election.

The commissioners will review all of the findings and return to the issue in the coming weeks.