JPs table measure

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Crawford County Justices of the Peace tabled a measure during their meeting Thursday night that would allow county employees to donate unused vacation time.

An ordinance allowing unused vacation time to be donated to employees who had exhausted all leave time was set aside to be discussed at the Quorum Court’s next personnel meeting once it is scheduled.

Several county officials objected to voting on the measure because wording did not indicate that the employee donation must be authorized by their department head.

JP Mary Blount was the first to speak up once discussion of the ordinance was opened.

“I think [time donated] should go through the proper chain of command,” Mary Blount said.

Circuit Clerk Sharon Blount agreed, and said it was up to the department head to make sure that the employee’s work hours were covered.

“I think employees should send that to their supervisor, and the supervisor should notify the county at that time,” Sharon Blount said.

Others were unclear on whether the ordinance would cost or save the county any money. JP James Lane thought the county would be paying double, once for the leave time and again for the person who must cover their position while out.

Currently the county’s handbook requires that employees can have no more than five days of vacation time retained after six months past their anniversary date without written approval from their department head.

Crawford County’s policy is “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” said County Clerk Teresa Armer.

This decision came after one employee was paid for six months of leave when she retired, said County Judge John Hall.

Hall said it would save the county money to allow employees to donate that time instead.

“I’m trying to get my road department to use [their time] up, but you can’t make them take it,” Hall said.

But Hall said he believes that, by law, employees must be compensated for any vacation time they do not or can not take.

“They are entitled to be compensated at that time; you can’t take that away from them,” Hall said.

Also at the meeting Thursday night, JPs approved the three-year continuation of a six-year contract with Pictometry International.

The company takes high resolution photographs during a county flyover that can be used to check property appraisals.

JPs also approved $400,000 in financing with an interest rate of 1.68 percent from US Bank of Van Buren for the purchase of four dump trucks, one bulldozer and one roller for the county road department.

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