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Polk might be looking at an updated rescue truck after the latest Polk County commissioners meeting saw Rockmart Fire Department highlight the problems with the older vehicle.

“We've reached the 10-year window on the current rescue truck on the east side of the county,” Rockmart Deputy Fire Chief Randall Cupp said. “It's time to replace this truck. I think in the past three years, we've racked up, jointly, $21,000 in repairs. So, what we're proposing right now is basically a project that would let us replace the current rescue truck.”

The truck's problems stem from age, continuous county-wide usage, and having dated technology. Turner proposed a new project that would fund a new vehicle with updated utility.

“We're having trouble defeating the new technology in vehicles,” Turner said during the March 5 meeting. “So, we're asking for an upgrade on that, and as we make this transition, the other thing it's causing is, what we're using as a reserve rescue right now is also the pull-vehicle for hazardous materials trailer and the technical rescue trailer that services the entire county. So, we want to take the utility box off that trailer, put a flatbed, and make a safer vehicle to pull these trailers throughout the county. The whole project is a domino effect that all goes together.'

The project seems like a form of financing with various entities in Polk pledging monetary assistance while the Fire Department finances the vehicle.

“The total package before any financing comes to $278,825,” Turner said. “There are several finance options, we can do a 10-year lease purchase with the Georgia Municipal Association. We can go with a 5 year. A lot of that depends on approval from ya'll, and how your share of money will come in."

As a work session, no formal action was taken, but the commission later decided to approve spending on the new rescue vehicle to the tune of half the cost.

UGA Carl Vincent Institute Pay and Classification Study

In hopes of better classifying pay scales and ensuring workers are earning what they should, the commission spoke about redoing the classification study.

“Our ordinance says our pay scale has to be certified by the University of Georgia system,” commissioner Scotty Tillery said. “Which is the Carl Vincent Institute.”

The scale hasn't been updated for approximately 10 years. Before, employees were given forms and asked to list their responsibilities and roles before receiving payment, and the commission is looking to take action after faults in the current plan were taken advantage of.

“What happened was, one secretary would write down that she sharpened pencils, set the clocks, didn't go to the bathroom but one time per day, skipped lunch,” commissioner Marshelle Thaxton said. “The other secretary would say 'I'm a secretary.' They'd give one $17 an hour and the other $13.”

The ordinance has updates planned, and the commission is working to make sure everyone receives the pay they deserve.

“Now, they would hand out the questionnaire,” County Manager Matt Denton said. “They would be completed and reviewed by supervisors, department heads, administration, and they would do their research and give new classification system and pay scale for Polk County. I've also asked them to give us guidance on policies to administer the pay scale.”

Commissioners later approved the study as part of a motion to increase salaries by 75 cents for all county employees, and adjust county police pay accordingly.