Troup County approves zero-tolerance policy update

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners approved an updated zero-tolerance policy on drug and alcohol use for Troup Transit employees.

The policy change was made in response to updated U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines under the Federal Transit Administration for mandated drug testing and breath alcohol testing for safety sensitive positions. The commission was required to adopt the policy.

“We already have this policy in place. This is just some amendments that have been made to this particular ordinance regulation,” said Valerie Heard, Troup County’s human resources director. “Some of the major regulations that have been updated included a list of opioids for which they are tested will expand from three to seven.”

Under the update, drugs like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin would be included in the county’s quarterly drug screenings on random employees. Commissioner Ellis Cadenhead asked if employees would receive notification of the change, and Heard said that employees would be asked to sign a form stating that they received the update.

“If you are on the job driving one of our transit vehicles, you can’t be taking this drug,” County Attorney Jerry Willis said. “… If you are bound that way, the policy is out there to be read that you shouldn’t be taking it anyway unless you have already alerted the department head about what you are doing and go to substitute drugs or what have you. The whole point is, we can’t have people on those kinds of narcotics actively driving our transits.”

According to Heard, Troup Transit employees prescribed one of the prohibited drugs by a doctor would be asked to find another medication option that complied with the regulation by talking to their doctor and letting their supervisor know what is going on.

Sheriff James Woodruff asked if the update would apply to Troup County Sheriff’s Office van drivers. Heard said TCSO van drivers would not fall under the updated testing requirements and would remain in the general testing pool.

Other actions taken during the meeting included:

  • The Troup County Board of Commissioners approved a lift of the hiring freeze so that the county shop could hire a full time mechanic to replace an employee who resigned.
  • The commission approved a budget amendment to allow the Troup County Public Facilities Authority to fund a business development plan at the LaGrange-Callaway Airport for $13,690. The original cost approval was up to $15,000, so the amendment was for less money to be used.
  • The commission approved an update to the records retention ordinance, to bring the ordinance up to date. The county’s records retention ordinance has not been updated since 1982.
  • The commission voted unanimously to approve the final plat on the Ansley Crossing subdivision on Wares Cross Road.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave.