Supervisors mull pay raises and radios
The Pearl River County Supervisors mulled pay increases for sheriff department personnel and purchasing radio equipment for the county’s volunteer fire departments at Monday’s meeting.
Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison asked the board for a three percent raise for his employees. According to Allison, the department’s personnel have not received a raise since 2010.
District I Supervisor Anthony Hales said that the money has already been budgeted this fiscal year and that the sheriff’s budget runs over year after year.
Allison said the funding would come from the budgeted $50,000 increase on the sheriff and jail side in the 2014 budget.
“I got a letter from the county administrator saying that raises could be presented to the board today,” Allison said.
Pearl River County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the letter was sent out to department heads about adding any raises to payroll.
“If they have money left in their budget then the board needs to know if they want to use it for pay raises,” Lumpkin said.
Lumpkin said there was an increase of about $100,000 to the sheriff’s budget this year.
“I’m not against the pay raises,” Hales said. “I just looking at the logic of getting into putting more money into something that we really can’t afford.”
The sheriff told the board he would review his budget and crunch the numbers again.
Steve Seal, fire chief of the Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department, addressed the board about researching plans to update the antiquated radio system the firemen are currently utilizing.
Pearl River County Emergency Management Director and Fire Services Coordinator Danny Manley said the current system is not working properly and it is his goal to get the firemen’s minds off of radios and back on putting out fires.
Seal said that all volunteer firefighters spend their own time and money and they are simply asking for help from the board.
“It’s not safe, when I have a firefighter in a building that needs to use the radio to call for help,” Seal said. “It’s just gotten to the point where it’s not safe to send people out on calls. It’s the board’s responsibility to help us fund a radio system.”
Manley said the volunteers want reliable communication and he is willing sit down with Lumpkin to figure out a way to make it happen.
In other action supervisors approved:
• The election commissioners’ declaration of the 2014 unopposed chancery and circuit court judge candidates as winners. Winners include Dawn H. Beam, chancery court, Johnny Lee Williams, chancery court, Deborah J. Gambrell, chancery court, Prentiss G. Harrell, circuit court, Richelle Lumpkin, county court and Phyllis Neal, Lumberton Line school board member district V.
The next board of supervisors meeting will be on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 9 a.m.