The Carbon County commissioners on Thursday swept out the last remnants of the Solid Waste Management department when they abolished its positions and salaries.

All three commissioners voted to eliminate the positions and salaries of one director ($43,880.20 per year); one collection driver ($15.87 an hour); one administrative secretary ($14.81 an hour); one part-time collection driver ($14.96 an hour); one part-time collection driver ($14.10 an hour); and one part-time collection driver ($13.29 an hour).

The positions and salaries ended Thursday, May 2.

Commissioners decided to jettison the department to cut costs as they crafted the county's 2013 budget. On April 11, commissioners terminated the department's employees: director Duane Dellecker, full-time collection driver Scott D. Hinkle and part-time collection drivers Bernard J. Mendez and Derek W. Thomas. They had previously terminated administrative secretary Patty Rossman when they closed the department's offices, located in the Bowmanstown Borough building.

On Thursday, Commissioner's Chairman Wayne Nothstein said the county Office of Planning and Development is handling the former department's concerns.

In a related matter Thursday, Commissioner William O'Gurek cast the sole opposing vote on a motion to increase the hourly wage of a clerical specialist in the Clerk of Courts office, the job Rossman now holds, from $9.91 to $11.15.

He said he voted against the amount of the raise because she was new to that job.

"While she does have county government experience, I think that would warrant an increase, but I'm not sure the fifth step on the scale (is appropriate)," he said. "I think that's a little bit high for someone who has no experience in that office."

O'Gurek said the person who previously held that job for several years was paid on the same level.

He cited the example of the dietary manager at the former county nursing home at Weatherwood, who made about $40,000 a year. When the county sold the nursing home in 2010, that person took a job in the county court system.

"She took that spot with the courts at a starting level because she had no experience. She took a major, major cut," O'Gurek said.

Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard said he believes the raise is proper. He said Rossman has 13 years with the county.

"I understand Commissioner O'Gurek's concerns that she's new at the job, but I believe she'll do a good job, and after speaking with her, she's doing well," he said.

Nothstein also said he believes the raise is merited.

"The person did take a huge cut in pay after all her years in service," he said. The county would have been helping fund her unemployment benefits if it had not hired her, Nothstein said.

In other salary board action Thursday, commissioners established the position of one county Caseworker I in the Children and Youth Services agency at $13.29 an hour, and abolished the position of one county Caseworker II at $14.64 an hour.

Commissioners also changed the rate of one part-time dispatcher at the county communications center from $11.71 an hour to $11.03 an hour.

All of the actions are effective as of Thursday, May 2.