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County OKs hire of new engineer

The Covington County Commission on Wednesday agreed to hire Lynn Ralls as the new engineer, effective May 1.

A contract was brought in at Monday night’s workshop meeting, but commissioners had questions about different parts of it on Wednesday.

Ralls has worked as assistant engineer since 2000.

Among the questions was whether the commission should place a cap on the number of vacation and sick leave the engineer could have since the county has to pay for any unused when someone leaves.

With all the questions circulating, attorney Mark Christensen suggested that the county get the terms in writing.

“I think it’s better to agree to something already in writing,” he said. “If the contract is very clear and very specific, it’s less likely to have fussing later.”

They agreed to hire Ralls effective May 1 and let administrator Karen Sowell and the county attorney work out the contract with Ralls. No commissioners will be involved in that process.

There will be a special meeting on April 27 to approve Ralls’ contract.

Ralls was unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting due to a death in his family.