Changes considered for road crews

Published 12:05 am Friday, August 2, 2013

It’s been said that FEMA money has saved the county from financial ruin, but commissioners said Thursday they recognize that money is coming to an end and changes to the way the county road department operates are a must.

The group met for a public hearing to discuss three main points that are expected to “improve efficiency and productivity,” as well as administrative changes to streamline duties.

County engineer Darren Capps said the county has completed all FEMA projects except those tied to Hurricane Isaac. In December, the county will receive $1.034 million for repairs.

To better utilize the money and staff on hand for those projects, commissioners discussed modifying the workweek and pay period from Thursday through Wednesday to Sunday through Saturday for all county employees. This would allow road department employees, who work four 10-hour days, to work on FEMA projects on Fridays, thereby easily calculating overtime to be paid with FEMA funds.

Secondly, commissioners discussed changing the road department’s work week to accommodate Monday holidays by shifting employees’ schedules by one day – meaning work on Tuesday through Friday instead of requiring employees to utilize two hours of vacation time to meet a 40-hour workweek.

Finally, commissioners discussed on-call pay for road employees. Godwin said at present, employees are not paid to “be on call;” however, they are paid two hours at time-and-a-half each time they are called to an after-hours job. Commissioners discussed assigning two telephones to on-call employees.

Chairman Bill Godwin proposed a flat on-call incentive pay per day, and Capps was tasked to present a dollar amount at the next meeting.