Reorganization of two county departments planned
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Reorganization of the information technology and development and engineering departments – expected to save the county around $115,000 in salaries alone – was approved by the Coweta County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.
The savings will be reaped from attrition and the re-classification of positions, said Patricia Palmer, director of the Community and Human Resources Department, who said no jobs or pay will be cut as a result of the planned reorganization.
The changes to the IT Department are “due to changes in technology and the method in which support is provided to county departments,” Palmer said. The changes reclassify the director position and restructure several supporting positions.
Changes to Development and Engineering, which will now be called Transportation and Engineering, are being done to centralize transportation projects and related procedures associated with transportation, as well as to streamline the development review function. Changes include transferring the transportation planner from Planning and Zoning to Transportation and Engineering, and doing away with the assistant director position, which is currently vacant.
One stormwater GIS position will move from engineering to IT and will become a GIS analyst to support GIS projects throughout the county.
The changes have been evaluated by the Position Classification Review Committee, Palmer said.
“I think this is well thought out and I appreciate all the hard work toward this,” Commission Chairman Bob Blackburn said.
In other meeting business:
The board approved several personnel actions, including the hiring of four part-time firefighters and the naming of Jimmy Bass as director of the Coweta County Library System.
The board approved an extension of the morgue services agreement with Heard County. The current agreement expires on May 15. The county has been using Heard County’s morgue ever since the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital opened. There’s no morgue at the new hospital.
“Coweta County is currently proceeding with construction of the new morgue facility on International Park,” said Assistant Administrator Michael Fouts, but it won’t be done by May.
The board voted to designate the Justice Center on Greenville Street as the backup location for the E-911 Center in the event of an emergency, and to purchase some equipment that would be needed in the case of an evacuation. The cost of the equipment is $2,800.50.
Cindy Brooks, wife of Commissioner Rodney Brooks, appeared before the board to ask for consideration of future bike trails in the county. There are a lot of people moving into the area who “are living healthy and wanting to do those kinds of outdoor activities,” she said. She said she’d like to see the county consider adding bike lanes when roads are repaved. She said the Tommy Lee Cook area would be a particularly good one for bike lanes.
The Georgia Department of Transportation requires bike facilities on some new road projects, Assistant Administrator Michael Fouts said. The proposed Newnan Bypass Extension will include bike facilities. The newly widened Hwy. 34 Bypass already has bike lanes and pedestrian facilities.
Blackburn said he had recently been talking with Transportation Planner Tavores Edwards about the possibility of the county getting some grants for walking and biking trails.
The board voted to approve the use of county right-of-way for several events including the Blalock Lakes Triathlon, Wounded Warrior Project Cycling Event, and Beck Charity Ride.
The board accepted the grand jury presentments for the March 2013 session.
The board approved a request from the town of Turin for assistance in extending a culvert. The town will also be borrowing road stencils to mark turn lanes.