By Tony Farkas
GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners Court authorized the payout of unused comp and vacation time to Sheriff Department employees.
Chief Deputy Jeremy Carroll told the court at its regular meeting on June 14 that the department’s dispatchers/jailers could not make use of the accumulated hours because of staffing issues.
“We’re understaffed, overworked and underpaid; we’re fighting big-city crime will small-town funding,” Carroll said. “I have six employees maxed out on (accrued) time.”
He said there is no shortage of the employees’ commitment to the county, but the problem has existed for months. The employees just don’t have the ability to take time off.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got,” Carroll said. “This would be the county showing its appreciation, saying they understand the situation.”He said that if the trend continues, there may be more employees leaving.
The county normally pays out unused comp and vacation time at an employee’s termination.
County Attorney Colton Hay cautioned the commission that they would need to change that policy to allow this.
The county opted to delay the matter two weeks, and to research what other counties do in these situations.
In other business, the county:
• approved a bond for Constable Carl Casey;• discussed collections of outstanding fines and fees;
• proclaimed June as Elder Abuse Prevention Month;
• approved renewal of county’s health benefits through the Texas Association of Counties;
• approved extending loans for three Mack trucks, as the county cannot trade in their current models because there are no trucks to swap;
• awarded a bid for a John Deere Motor Grader to George Bane Inc. for $195,000, and approved County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy to seek financing;
• changed the name of Skains Road, both north and south legs, to Skains Chapel Road;
• approved a release of liability for county commissioners dumping ditch materials on private property;
• changed the name of Frankie Parish Road to Frankie & Jessica Parish Road;
• delayed enacting a burn ban in the county; and
• approved offering $93,000 to purchase the Pineywoods Home Health Care building to be used for the County Maintenance Department and for storage.