County to vote on public safety raise and millage rate

Published 5:15 pm Monday, July 10, 2023

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On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners will consider a potential pay raise for public safety employees. A discussion of public safety retention is on the agenda for the morning work session. A vote on the issue is expected to come at the regular meeting later that afternoon.

During a called meeting on June 29, Commission Chairman Patrick Crews expressed support for raises for public safety employees but noted the money would have to come from somewhere, and no one wants their property taxes to increase.

Crews said that commissioners had asked state legislators for a SPLOST that could be used for law enforcement but lawmakers were unwilling to support the idea.

County officials began discussing the issue at the request of Sheriff James Woodruff, who asked the commissioners to increase the pay for deputies and jailors to help TCSO compete with other law enforcement agencies. While the county was holding its meeting, the LaGrange City Council voted to increase their starting salary to $60,000 and provide an $8,000 pay raise to current officers.

Woodruff requested that deputy salaries be increased by $6,000 to $44,138.64 per year and jailers by $4,500 to $38,067.12.

Woodruff said that he knows some current deputies will be looking to get jobs at LPD because of their pay increase. TCSO is currently short 22 deputies and 18 jailers, he said.

County Manager Eric Mosley recommended salary increases of up to $6,000 for all certified deputies, including deputy marshals. The move, if approved, would be a 13.43% increase. He also recommended the same raise for certified fire department and 911 personnel.

Mosley also proposed granting the sheriff’s request for jailers to receive a $4,500 salary increase.

All other administrative staff will receive the normal cost of living increase as previously budgeted.

Mosley said that the money for the raises will likely come from cuts to other departments.

The commissioners will also hold a public hearing at the 9 a.m. work session to hear public comments before setting the 2023 millage rate.

The county has proposed a net maintenance and operations millage rate of 9.770, which would be the second decrease in two years. Most of the decrease will come from the elimination of the sanitation millage, which will reduce the overall rate by .637 mills.