Troup County considers $1,000 in hazard pay for employees

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, October 17, 2020

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By Hunter Riggall

During Thursday’s Board of Commissioners work session, Troup County Manager Eric Mosley proposed awarding $1,000 in hazard pay to all full-time county employees for their work during the pandemic.

The county received approximately $1.7 million in federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. About half of that was spent to recoup COVID-19-related expenses in the last fiscal year, with the rest being reserved for the current fiscal year.

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The county has already invested CARES funds in safeguarding offices and courts, installing protective glass, deep cleaning, sanitation supplies and other expenses incurred due to the pandemic.

“We have been very blessed, and I feel like it would be a great idea to pass on that blessing to our staff,” Mosley said. “Our deputies our firefighters, our HR staff, our finance staff. Everybody have been out there on the front lines, and we would like to find a way to give them some of this that we’ve received.”

Mosley’s proposal also includes $500 hazard pay for each part-time employee. The total cost would be about $461,000. If approved, the pay would probably come in the next couple of weeks, he said.

The City of LaGrange recently awarded $1,500 in hazard pay to each full-time employee and $750 to each part-time employee. The total cost was about $600,000 of the $1.6 million the city received through the CARES Act.

Commissioners did not comment on Mosley’s proposal, which is on the agenda for next Tuesday’s work session. Chairman Patrick Crews had expressed support for the idea of awarding hazard pay at the last meeting, pending more research and number-crunching by the county to make sure they could afford it. Crews was not present on Thursday, however.

County CFO Sonya Conroy and Mosley said county revenues appear to be steady and climbing. Court revenues have recovered, and sales taxes are up thanks to online sales and the distribution of state and federal benefits stimulating the economy, they said.

SPLOST revenues are also “looking good,” according to Mosley.

In development news, commissioners discussed a preliminary plat submitted by Trademark Quality Homes to build a subdivision at the intersection of Perkins and Keith Roads, about a 10-minute drive southeast of downtown Hogansville. The plot is just over 87 acres. The developer proposed 35 lots of 2 to 4 acres each and would build a road into the subdivision.

A request to apply to renew a FY2022 Georgia Department of Transportation grant to fund Troup County transit will be voted on at the Tuesday meeting.

Troup County Shop Manager Glenn Downs gave a brief presentation outlining the need to purchase a new tractor to clear brush at LaGrange Callaway Airport. After showing three options, Downs said staff recommended purchasing a Kubota M4 tractor. The price quote received was $65,769. The request will be voted on at Tuesday’s meeting.

Two requests to lift the hiring freeze came before the board of commission, to be voted on Tuesday. The current parks and recreation business manager is retiring, so the department needs to hire a new one. The position is budgeted.

An employee in the finance department is also retiring, and the position will be changed to be a grants and contract manager. The plan is for the position to be mostly funded by Georgia Department of Transportation and Georgia Department of Human Services grants, which allow state money to be used for administrative services.