Commission approves tech, truck purchases
County commissioners gave their nod of approval to several spending initiatives during their final meeting of 2017, but most important among those for employees was an annual salary enhancement given at the holidays.
The board voted unanimously to spend an more than $120,000 overall for county employees to get a special gift on their paychecks, adding 40 hours worth of money onto everyone who has been with the county for at least a year as employee.
Despite a small amount of confusion on how to make the motion to approve during the county’s meeting last week, they cleared up issues and all gave their thumbs up. Included in this year’s bonuses are all the constitutional officers.
The commission themselves won’t get the bonuses, since their salaries are small anyhow, and part time employees don’t count either.
The board also recently approved the purchasing of a new public works truck and SSI software for the sheriff deputy vehicles at the latest commissioner meeting, but details and reasoning behind the purchases were shared by the group during the work session that took place the day before.
Purchasing the SSI software was important for the commission that has been continuously updating the police force’s technology.
Recently, the commission purchased the county’s officers in-car laptops that give them access to a myriad of tools, and SSI is designed to function extremely efficiently on the computers.
Additionally, Sheriff Johnny Moats said that with the information that can be provided by the laptops for his deputies serving warrants or picking up suspects, they’ll have additional knowledge about potentially difficult situations ahead of time.
“It’s another report writing system that generates incident reports and gives them GPS coordination to where you can see where the cars are, and the county 911 can see where they are,” Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd added.
“Initially, it was going to be $39,000,” County Manager Matt Denton said. “The sheriff’s office was able to negotiate SSI down to 17 for this software, so its a recommendation, funded by SPLOST, to purchase this software.”
The newly purchased public works vehicle, like the truck being replaced, is a standard 4-door Crew Cab work truck with 4-wheel drive.
“Six or eight months ago, we had a public works truck that was totaled in an accident,” Denton said during the Dec. 11 work session. “It wasn’t our fault. We received the other party’s insurance and received a settlement enough to pay for a new truck.”
With the insurance money received, the group issued bid requests to local dealerships and salespersons who offered truck prices. The commission ultimately buys from the company that bids the lowest- not the highest. While searching for a truck, two dealerships participated in the county bid.
“Two responded: Prater Ford, and Family Ford,” Denton said. “Prater Ford was the low bidder by $100 or so at $29,134.84, and that would be our recommendation tomorrow evening.”
Here’s some items the county commission also approved of note in their final business meeting for the year:
Commissioners voted unanimously to allow for a firmware upgrade to move forward for the county’s radio system, and additional questions were brought up about surge protection for equipment for the county’s backup radio installation for 911 at the City of Rockmart’s office. Denton said it might have to do with a power lull, and not a power surge.
When a new Code Enforcement officer is hired in 2018, they’ll be in a new salary range. Commissioners approved making the needed change to allow for a small increase in their pay to attract someone new to the position. They’ll also seek an officer already mandated to help with County Police manpower needs as well.
The County Coroner and the Development Authority of Polk County President and CEO will now get group health insurance under the county government’s plan. Commissioners voted unanimously to allow them to receive benefits from the county, with the DAPC paying for Missy Kendrick’s share of coverage costs, and the coroner being added on.
Editor Kevin Myrick contributed to this report.