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Performance pay raises in works for county employees
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County officials are looking to put extra dollars into their employees' wallets.

This week, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners will be asked to allow the allocation of $120,000 that was budgeted for pay increases in 2015.

A 2014 salary study shows 10 county departments where employees are being paid below the recommended minimum.

In addition to raising the pay to the minimums at a cost of about $28,000 overall, the board will also consider applying the remaining budgeted funds so that department heads can adjust salaries for their employees.

The proposed increases would not include raises to employees of the Dawson County Sheriff's Office, who are in line to receive pay increases following the board's July 16 vote to transfer $130,000 from the sheriff's budget for new patrol cars into the department's operating costs.

Sheriff Billy Carlisle said he is going to use $95,000 of the funds to give nearly 85 percent of his staff raises in an effort to combat against them going to other law enforcement agencies offering higher salaries and better benefits.

"That's what's happening right now. They're actually recruiting our employees, because they are already experienced and trained, and I'm losing them," he said.

He's lost 117 employees in the last seven years, with 96 of them resigning to take better paying jobs with better equipment at other counties and city police departments.

With the remainder, he plans to purchase updated video equipment for patrol cars.

A breakdown of the salary study showed that employees in the sheriff's office were among several departments requiring greater increases to reach minimums.

In response, a 2 percent cost-of-living increase was given across the board to all full and part time county employees. That was also when the funds were set aside to give select employees raises for performance.

In other news:

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted on the following agenda items during its July 16 meeting:

Approved a request to rezone 4.97 acres from residential agriculture to commercial highway business on Carlisle Road in order for a RV rental business to open on the property. A stipulation was added to the zoning that requires a mobile office must be moved from the property after 24 months. Commissioners Julie Hughes Nix and Jimmy Hamby recused themselves from the vote for personal reasons;

Approved and set the county's millage rate at 8.138 mills, the same rate it has remained for the last 12 years.

Approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a lease purchase agreement with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia;

Approved a bid for Dodge trucks for the Dawson County Government;

Approved the termination of contracts and agreements relating to credit and debit card services; and

Approved updates to the county's vehicle replacement and maintenance policy.