County using rate reduction service
by Jazz Clark
The Morgan County Com-mission, after discussion with a company called All in One Recovery (AIO) at their June 7 meeting, is looking over a contract that could result in savings for the county.
While the original motion was taken back in order to have the contract legally reviewed, Commission Presi-dent Stacy Dugan said there is no reason they would not proceed with the service at the next meeting.
Gene Watkins, president of AIO, reports annual savings of $3,500 to $7,500 dollars by reducing costs on electricity, natural gas, telephone and solid waste.
“We’ve offered our services to 37 counties in West Virginia, and in every case except for one, we’ve managed to save them money,” Watkins said.
AIO will review all of the bills and records from the past year and see whether the commission is being overcharged. If errors are found, the company in question will offer a credit or a check for reimbursement.
“At the same time we’re moving forward and looking at current services,” Watkins said. “This is a fairly new courthouse. and many of the problems from before it was built, have hopefully been corrected already.”
AIO works on a contingency basis. They only take a slice of the money they help save or recover.
In this case, the company offers a rate of 40% of earned profits for county commissions from their usual 50%.
The contract runs for a period of 24 months, after which the courthouse will see 100% of the profits compared to 60% after the agreement ends.
Results of the audit for savings will be available after 90 days.
Watkins predicts most savings to come from reduction on the phone bill, as with most other counties. AIO will work with current vendors to lower rates or find a vendor that offers the same services for less.
However, President Dugan pointed out that for several of their utilities, there’s only one available company.
“Sometimes there’s only one game in town, and that’s who we concentrate on,” said Watkins. “It makes it harder to negotiate prices, but they want to keep both your business and the free will. They’ll work with us 90% of the time to give you a good rate.”
Watkins cited Kanawha County Schools where, he said, they saved $62,000 a year compared to the $10,000 or $20,000 they expected.
“In the best case scenario, they save us money and, worst-case, we come out even,” said County Adminis-trator Jody McClintock.