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Commission mulls over issues left unresolved

McDuffie County Commissioners took a second look Monday at some topics that were discussed at recent meetings.

Two vault doors that need to be removed from the old courthouse attracted no bidders, so commissioners agreed informally to remove the doors and continue trying to sell them. County manager Don Norton said potential bidders were discouraged by the difficulty of removing the doors, which weigh about 1,500 pounds each.

Commissioners also looked at the possibility of keeping title to a fire truck that was damaged when another vehicle struck the Raysville fire station. The truck had been declared surplus, but the county was expecting to clear a few thousand dollars on the sale. Commissioner Paul McCorkle raised the possibility of keeping the truck for contingency use.

Fire Chief Bruce Tanner also supported keeping the truck as a potential second back-up vehicle in case one of the other six trucks requires major repairs

Discussion at the work session set the stage for a meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, at which commissioners were expected to decide those issues.

Commissioners also revisited a new county personnel policy, which has been under discussion for several months. Commissioner Bill Jopling chairs the committee that compiled that document. He said the basic policy was provided by the Carl Vinson Institute, at a cost to the county of $7,500.

Commissioner Sammie Wilson said the policy needs to be specific about how employees accrue sick pay and vacation time. Wilson said the policy spells out the accrual rate for employees who work 24-hour shifts and those who work 8-hour shifts, but is not specific about how benefits are accrued by those who work 12-hour shifts.

Shifts and total hours vary among courthouse staff and fire department and sheriff's department employees.

Commission Chairman Charley Newton said he would like the commission to adopt the long-delayed policy and then make changes as necessary.

Wilson said he opposes that plan.

The new policy leaves the handling of grievances with the county manager and adds a three-member board of professionals to consider employee appeals of adverse action. Newton said he favors eliminating employee appeals to the full commission if the three-member board's vote is unanimous. Wilson said he is not comfortable with those changes.

Two commissioners asked for more time to review the latest version of the policy. That will push that topic beyond the Wednesday meeting and onto the Nov. 15 agenda.

Commissioners also received a reminder that the county's semiannual trash amnesty day will be from 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. McDuffie County residents may bring certain trash items to the county trash transfer station at no cost during those hours.

Web posted on Thursday, November 03, 2011

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