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County owes $41K-plus in comp time

The Harrison County Council Monday night, June 9, discussed options to take care of a back load of compensation owed to county employees.
The new personnel policy, with some sections taking effect July 1, requires all compensation time to be taken before the next pay period.
The old policy said something similar, but, regardless, $41,000-plus of comp time has accumulated that is owed to employees.
‘We’ve been talking about this for some time,’ Council Chair Gary Davis said. ‘I didn’t think they were supposed to give it (comp time). We have this liability because department heads and elected officials didn’t manage it.’
Davis said the council has two options: either ask those who have comp time to use it by the end of the year (ranging all the way up to 22 days) or pay it all off and begin anew with the revamped personnel policy.
Auditor Karen Engleman said she thought it would be difficult for some departments to absorb the loss of manpower if the council asked the employees to take their comp time before the end of the year.
‘Like the clerk’s office, in an election year, I don’t know how they’d do it,’ she said.
Councilman Richard Gerdon said he thought this issue was addressed a couple years ago.
‘It was addressed in the personnel policy; it just wasn’t enforced,’ Commissioner George Ethridge said.
Councilman Phil Smith said, regardless when the comp time was accrued, even years ago, it will be paid at today’s salary rate.
‘That’s a big difference,’ he said.
The council made no decision on the matter.
In other business, the council unanimously approved a $30,000 additional appropriation into the firearms line for Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye for the purchase of ammunition and less-than-lethal options such as CS canisters and flash bangs.
Seelye said, in the past, they ran out of ammunition and had to borrow it. So, to avoid that situation, they’ve tried to maintain a stockpile of ammo. The funding will help the department maintain that high level of on-hand ammo. The money will come out of the sheriff’s line generated from the sale of gun permits and fingerprints.
Park superintendent Rand Heazlitt said the results from the South Harrison Park lake feasibility study are in, but he wants to first meet with the parks board before publicly sharing the results (the next park board meeting will be Wednesday, June 18).
‘They can do it … I don’t know if we want to do it,’ he said.
The next council’s meeting will be Monday at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.

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