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Troup commission hears from new community leaders

At its Thursday work session, the Troup County Board of Commissioners met two new community leaders and discussed fiscal year 2022 award activations.

Sgt. First Class Jay Thompson, the new Georgia State Patrol commander for Post 2, was introduced to the commission. He previously worked on GSP’s Criminal Interdiction Unit.

“As soon as the opportunity came up to come down to LaGrange, I was glad to be here. Let me tell you, it was nice to get out of Atlanta … I’m looking forward to serving you all down here and helping everybody out and doing what I can,” Thompson said.

He also introduced Brandon Smith, the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Trooper of the Year.

“We’re very fortunate to have Brandon … He’s a good man for the job. I just can’t tell you how proud of him I am, and [I’m] glad to show him off today,” Thompson said.

After Thompson, County Manager Eric Mosley invited Troy Anderson, the county’s new community development director, to introduce himself.

“[I’m] returning home after 33 years. [I] left LaGrange in 1988, went off to Georgia Tech, to the tech school there, and then the Navy had their hooks in me, and when I graduated in 1993, I spent 28 years serving the country,” Anderson said.

In other discussion, the Coweta Circuit Mental Health Court received an award of $230,513 with a match of $25,613 from the City of LaGrange and Carroll County, according to Accountability Courts Manager Denise Smith.

“That award covers full-time staff, personnel, law enforcement, lab technician, the drug lab drug testing, and it covers some travel and transportation,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Smith said the Troup County DUI/Drug Court award was $97,499 with a match of $10,833.

The match would come from the case manager’s salary and benefits and would be funded via the [Drug and Alcohol Treatment Education] fund, according to the document.

Smith said the award and match would cover some personnel costs, drug testing, surveillance, and some travel. Smith briefly discussed veterans treatment court, which she said received an award that was not sufficient enough to sustain a program.

“I’m hoping we’ll be talking further about that,” Smith said.

“I won’t go into it because I don’t know really where we are right now because it’s still in progress.”

She explained that it would be a significant advantage for the county to be able to serve veterans instead of Troup County veterans having to go to Coweta County to receive treatment services. Accountability Courts Coordinator Hilliard Daniel discussed awards made to the Felony Adult Drug Court and Family Treatment Court.

“[The] award letters are very similar to last year. [The] Felony Drug Court was awarded $141,743, with a match of $15,749, which will be coming from the case manager’s salary and benefits,” Daniel said.

“The Family Treatment Court was awarded $157,236, with a match of $17,471. So, we will be asking for approval to accept those awards, as well.”

According to a meeting agenda document, the Family Treatment Court award will also be matched by the case manager’s salary and benefits.

“We actually increased the program. We have a maximum of about 20 participants that we operate with right now. We asked for funds to accommodate 10 more. Part of that would have included a part-time case manager, which the CACJ [Council of Accountability Court Judges], just as last year, said we made a strong case for, but just didn’t have the funds available to provide that,” Daniel said, referring to the Family Treatment Court.

The county is also going to be updating a pay study from five or six years ago. Mosley said the last one gave the county a good idea of changes that needed to be made.

“We were able to kind of really tweak the way we handled our pay structure, and it’s really helped us with attracting better-qualified candidates, and more importantly, holding onto the ones we currently have,” Mosley said.

The case study will begin in early September and will be conducted by Condrey and Associates, according to Mosley.

“This will not be a full study. It will be an update for our first study,” he said.

Other items discussed at the meeting included a Troup County Agricultural Center update, an award bid to coat the restroom and locker room floor at the Mike Daniel Recreation Center, and a project to paint the Troup County Jail.

The commission meets again Tuesday afternoon.