2 choices now before commissioners

LaGRANGE — Troup County commissioners narrowed down the running for which company will implement the proposed pay study at the Tuesday county commission meeting.

The study was initially proposed at an Aug. 16 meeting, and options for three companies were discussed at a Sept. 20 meeting.

Troup County has had trouble retaining employees for years. Commissioners hope that the study will help Troup County increase employee retention through competitive pay by comparing all full-time county employee salaries to employees with similar job descriptions in counties with comparable demographics.

“I think that was a wise decision by (the commission) to go outside and to have somebody who is outside instead of internally … so that it would be fair and impartial and look at it from a fresh set of eyes,” said County Manager Tod Tentler.

The retention problem was highlighted at the meeting by a hiring request from Troup County Shop Supervisor Charles Koone, whose department has lost two employees in the last six months, and was concerned about finding replacements at current pay levels.

“We would ask to fill that second position if we thought that we had some candidates that could fill what we really need,” said division Director Dexter Wells. “Based on the salary that you’ll be looking at in the future … we won’t be getting that qualification.”

In light of continuing concerns, commissioners agreed to narrow down the options to the two companies who seem to offer more information and preferable timelines for the study: Condrey & Associates and Springsted.

According to Tentler, Condrey proposed a flat $52,500 fee. Springsted’s quote was for $53,575, plus up to $5,200 in travel and training fees. Both companies could start within one month. Condrey’s study will take five months to complete. Springsted would have a “four-month implementation plan,” he said.

Springsted was responsible for Coweta County’s recent pay study. Tentler said its officials were happy with its results. Coweta’s report found 19 percent of employees out of range, with the majority of those being underpaid.

Commissioner Tripp Foster said that looking at departments with high turnover may cover “a lot of departments” due to problems with turnover throughout the county, but Chairman Patrick Crews was hopeful that the results “wouldn’t be as bad as they could be.”

“Those benefits we have with this county are a blessing,” Foster said. “We have some good benefits, as far as the insurance is concerned, but insurance — we’ve got to remember — won’t put tires on the car, or food on the table, or clothes on people, or send kids to college, and it’s very important that we work real hard together to make this happen for our county employees. … All in all, we’ve got to make a significant move on salaries.”

The county commission authorized Tentler to negotiate with relevant parties, so that the commission can review final proposals and vote on the pay study at its next meeting on Oct. 18.

County hopes to improve employee retention through pay study

By Alicia B. Hill

Daily News correspondent

Alicia B. Hill is a correspondent for the LaGrange Daily News. Reach the office at 706-884-7311.