The Scott County Fiscal Court is considering a program to pay for the training of EMTs and paramedics to help with turnover and issues of filling open positions. This training would come in exchange for commitments to serve in Scott County.

The fiscal court heard a proposal from Brandon Remley, director of Georgetown-Scott County Emergency Medical Services during a work session meeting Friday morning. Remley proposed a program in which Scott County would help pay for paramedic training for employees in exchange for promised years of service in the county. The overall cost to receive a license is about $6,000. Remley’s proposed program would have the county pay $3,000 for the candidate’s training. After one year of service, the county would waive the $3,000 debt. After three years the county would pay back the other $3,000.

The court likes the proposed program, but will form a committee to work out details in the proposed contract. The main concern the court wants to avoid is the county paying for someone’s training and getting left with the bill while the trainee goes on to work somewhere else. They want to prevent any lawsuits to get the county’s money back, said magistrate Chad Wallace.

Director of Human Resources Jeff Mudrak updated the court on his compensation study. The study aims to propose adjustments to the county’s wages and benefits to make it a more competitive employer with similar-sized governments and attract new hires and retain employees.

“We need to enhance our benefits,” said County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington.

Mudrak presented comparison data of similar-sized governments and their vacations, sick leave and holiday pay compared to Scott County’s. Scott County employees serving under 10 years receive 10 days of vacation time annually, he said. Employees who have served over 10 years receive 15 days of vacation time annually. These totals were lower than similar-sized governments.

There is currently no carryover allowed in vacation days year to year.

Mudrak recommended the county allow carryover of unused vacation days to the next year. Carryover allows employees more flexibility and prevents them from having to rush to use their vacation days before they expire, said Mudrak.

Scott County’s currently provided sick days and holiday pay are competitive with other cities, he said.

Magistrate Bernard Palmer suggested the county consider rewarding employees for their unused sick days with a check at the beginning of the new year. Magistrate David Livingston suggested the county remove the categories of sick, vacation and holiday leave and replace them all with simply “paid time off.” This is commonly done in the private sector, Livingston said.

Magistrate Bill Burke raised concerns about people swimming in Great Crossing Dam and causing disturbances for people fishing. Swimmers have been seen running off people fishing, said Burke.

 It is unsafe for them to be swimming in the same water as the boats, he said. There are signs posted saying not to swim in the area.

“We need to do something pretty quick or we’re going to lose control of Great Crossing Park,” said Burke. “I’m of the opinion that we have to start writing citations.”

Covington suggested that the county could hire additional staff to oversee the area.

Covington mentioned two proposals he intends for the court to revisit at a meeting next week. The first was a proposal from Verizon to build a telecom tower and light pole in Brooking Park. Sutton Field needs new lighting fixtures, which are estimated to cost $300,000, he said. Allowing Verizon’s proposal would reduce the cost of new lighting by $16,000, Covington said.

Covington also brought up a request from citizens on Thistle Way for the county to take over a 330-foot area of road. The site could be used to create a potential turnaround, he said.

The Scott County Fiscal Court will meet again on Friday, June 14, at 9 a.m. for a regular meeting.

Noah Oldham can be reached at noldham@news-graphic.com.

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