Pending the completion of the new Fiscal Year 2020 budget, the Polk County Board of Commissioners has agreed to continue operating under the numbers established in the FY 2019 budget for at least one more month.

The group has made it no secret they plan to adopt the FY 2020 in August, but delays have largely been the results of lingering employee pay scale issues.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia has long been preparing a study on the issue, and with it nearly completed, county staff have finally been able to meaningfully discuss implementation.

The institute was responsible for generating new position descriptions, establishing a grading system designed to place jobs on the pay scale based on both requirements and market trends, and generating two different pay scale tables for general employees and public safety officials.

The new pay scales mean employees could be taking home more each year, but if the budget fails to be implemented in August as planned, the source of the delay should be clear.

In the meantime, the group plans to continue working on it as much as possible.

County Manager Matt Denton announced plans for additional budget work sessions in July, and official voting won’t take place until Tuesday, Aug. 6. The commission will also have their regularly scheduled work session the night before to hash out any details.

The July 2 meeting did see more positive news come out of the financial sector thanks to the group formally approved grants for the Family Drug Court, the Mental Health Court, and the Adult Felony Drugs Court.

The commission didn’t explicitly mention what the funds would be used for, but totaling $581,011, the courts should be more equipped to deal with the challenges inherent to hearing cases and working with the public.

“I’ll say we’re glad to get these grants, I know that” County Chairperson Jennifer Hulsey said.

The grants are sure to help, but by appointing Marty Robinson to the Polk County DFACS Board of Directors, the group is hoping to prevent family crimes and mitigate issues before the courts have to become involved.

Robinson saw unanimous approval and was reportedly completely willing to take up the role. Robinson has served Polk in numerous roles, but he currently acts as the director of Emergency Medical Services at Redmond Regional Medical Center.

Robinson is the second appointment to the DFCS board in recent months. Sarah Horne of Classical Conversations and a recent LEAD Polk 2018 graduate was added to the board back in June.

Other miscellaneous items that saw approval before the team’s executive session include new cages for the animal control cat room, a new 2020 Ford F-250 truck for public works, and a new administrative vehicle.

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