Commission passes personnel policy updates, budget amendment

Published 3:44 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2022

By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission on Monday, March 14 approved updates to the county’s personnel policies and procedures, along with an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

Effective June 1, the proposed civil service policy and procedure revisions involve establishing a safety committee, extending the probationary period, increasing longevity pay and clarifying the workplace violence, nepotism and sick leave policies, among other administrative matters.

“This is a significant change,” Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins said, noting the policies and procedures originated in 1993 with the Shelby County Civil Service Act. “We have developed 18 different changes brought upon by different levels of management. A lot of work has gone into this.”

Scroggins said county leaders, including the property tax commissioner, sheriff and probate judge, reviewed the revisions as well.

“This is a good mixture of operational changes and administrative changes,” Commission Chairman Kevin Morris said. “Some will aid in recruitment and benefit our current staff.”

In other business, the Commission approved to amend the county’s current budget in light of “increased revenues over projections and budget management by staff resulting in expenses less than projections,” the resolution reads.

“We based this revenue cycle on Fiscal Year 2019 numbers,” Scroggins said. “In the first five months, in sales tax alone, we are $2.5 million ahead of budget.”

According to the resolution, the changes relate to “significant long-term capital improvements in the areas of investment opportunities in public spaces and recreation amenities for residents of Shelby County and to support tourism efforts,” and establish “employment severance benefits of unclassified employees to be the same as classified employees effective October 1, 2022.”

In addition, several full-time employees will be added to the county’s staff in different departments.

The budget amendment specifically includes provisions for:

• General Fund – Projects and grant matches for partnering with local municipalities and Oak Mountain State Park to increase and improve recreational opportunities, plus utilizing revenues over the original FY 2022 budget projection to retire the county’s lodging tax loan of about $2 million and eliminating significant interest that would be paid over the life of the loan.

• Tourism/Lodging Tax – Complete tourism asset projects with revenues over original FY 2022 budget projection and balance of line item designated for loan in lodging tax to increase.

• County Employees/Civil Service System – Add additional employees to the following departments that will be funded within the previously budgeted expenditures for FY 2022: Landfill/Environmental Services, Probate Office, Tourism/Events, General Government/Senior Manager.

With the amendment, the net change to total revenues is about $4.98 million, while the net change to total expenditures is about $3.27 million, with projected contributions to the general fund balance totaling nearly $1.71 million.

Also on March 14, the Commission approved for a portion of Alabama 25 near Sterrett to be closed for about a month for repairs between the intersections of Shelby County 43 in Vandiver and Shelby County 41 in Dunnavant.

The Alabama Department of Transportation has requested to use county roads 41 and 43 as detour routes during the closure.