Warren County and Bollinger Enterprises talk collaboration

Warren County and Bollinger Enterprises, Inc. are discussing an arrangement that will bring new work experiences to BEI clients.

BEI Executive Director Dr. William Clark said on Tuesday that the program is “in the development phase.”

“I contacted six local businesses to see if we started a program would they be interested in BEI individuals washing their fleet,” Clark said. “All of them said yes. With that in mind, we have the potential to be washing 80 vehicles.”

But Clark said that finding a space for the work has been a barrier.

That’s where the Warren County Commissioners come in.

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said during Monday’s work session that the initiative came up at a Human Services Governing Board meeting.

Eggleston said the county then discussed offering space at the county warehouse in Starbrick. “That was what we pitched.”

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin noted that the facility once housed the bus washing operations of the Transit Authority of Warren County.

“They want to use the space out there for (a) fleet car washing business,” Eggleston said, noting that the proposed space is currently empty.

He said he doesn’t think BEI clients utilizing the space would interfere with the possibility of a recycling center also utilizing space in the warehouse. “(It) could potentially complement that. (I) talked with Bill (Clark) about partnering for recycling.”

Eggleston noted his only concern is the heating system in the facility.

“It’ll be an opportunity for them to integrate their workers,” he added.

Clark said that the Warren State Hospital offered driveway space.

“We planned on starting to wash Human Services vehicles at the site to work out the program bugs,” he explained. “When this was brought up at a Governing Board meeting, the commissioners offer the Courthouse Warehouse which allowed the cars to be washed inside as opposed to out in the elements.”

Kafferlin asked Eggleston if there would be a benefit to the county, such as BEI clients washing county vehicles.

“They’re providing a service to persons with disabilities,” Eggleston responded, indicating that goes “back and forth” about just letting BEI use the space.

Kafferlin suggested BEI could contribute to some of the utilities for the building.

“I didn’t pitch that at all,” Eggleston said. “I was happy to let them use the space.”

He indicated BEI would only be looking to use the space one or two days a month and suggested that the solicitor be tasked with drafting an agreement to address liability issues.