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Winter storm costing counties in workers' overtime

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 5:12 PM
Last updated Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 9:00 AM
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 Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported a higher amount of overtime costs.

Last week’s winter storm is costing governments in Richmond and Columbia counties plenty in overtime.

Pam Tucker, director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division, said Wednesday there isn’t a definite amount of hours yet, but she was anticipating overtime pay somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office alone accounted for 969 overtime hours and more than $20,000 in overtime pay.

In Richmond County, 341 sheriff’s employees racked up more than 5,800 overtime hours, or just under $200,000 in pay.

Mie Lucas, diasaster preparedness coordinator for Richmond County, said overtime totals continue to come in from other city departments.

Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew said all gun-toting employees, regardless of position or rank, were called in to handle the growing number of issues after the storm dropped nearly one inch of ice on the area.

Police in both counties were extended between directing traffic at intersections with non-working traffic signals, cutting trees and clearing roads, checking on businesses and providing shuttles to and from shelters.

With below freezing temperatures and thousands of residents without electricity, officers responded to “numerous” calls for welfare checks, Chew said.

Reserve officers in both counties, who work as volunteers and are not paid, also helped with the tasks.

“Considering the magnitude of the ice storm and the damage sustained, we are proud of the tremendous work that was performed by our employees,” Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said. “Everyone pulled together as an extremely cohesive team.”

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soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 02/19/14 - 06:47 pm
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Renting a chipper for storm debris would pay for its self.
Unpublished

Renting a chipper for storm debris would pay for its self.

soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 02/19/14 - 06:48 pm
1
0
soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 02/19/14 - 06:49 pm
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No way to track funds on this guvmit project either. WOW
Unpublished

No way to track funds on this guvmit project either. WOW

LillyfromtheMills
13977
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LillyfromtheMills 02/19/14 - 08:31 pm
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Thank you

All!

bdouglas
5398
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bdouglas 02/19/14 - 11:01 pm
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Math...

That averages out to $20 an hour for overtime for a CCSO deputy and $34 an hour for an RCSO deputy. Something doesn't add up there.

soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 02/20/14 - 09:12 am
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I thought they just came in on their own time to be heros?
Unpublished

To help their fellow citizens in time of disaster. LOL LOL

soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 02/20/14 - 09:15 am
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Mr&Mrs. Allen can contribute to the fund as part of her CS time.
Unpublished

Mr&Mrs. Allen can contribute to the fund as part of her CS time.

corgimom
34215
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corgimom 02/20/14 - 09:21 am
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What do you mean, bd, too

What do you mean, bd, too much or too little?

Because in that overtime pay, you also have to count the social security tax that the county has to pay, pension contribution, etc. It's not just the actual wage.

And most counties have a provision that after a certain hours of overtime worked, instead of 1 1/2 pay rate it goes to 2 times the pay rate. And it was well-deserved. I would imagine some of those deputies worked round the clock.

Buckys Friend
111
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Buckys Friend 02/20/14 - 10:20 am
3
0
Maybe Kay Allen could make a

Maybe Kay Allen could make a donation

bdouglas
5398
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bdouglas 02/20/14 - 11:11 am
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@corgi

I have no qualms whatsoever about it being well-deserved. It's the fact that one comes out to $14/hr more than the other.

Sweet son
10753
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Sweet son 02/20/14 - 02:17 pm
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Heard Pam Tucker crying for an Emergency Declaration and

saying that then it wouldn't cost the taxpayers any money. Duh! Where does she think the feds get the money they send out for emergencies.

corgimom
34215
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corgimom 02/20/14 - 04:15 pm
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1
It's probably the double

It's probably the double time.

And it was worth every penny and then some.

burninater
9685
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burninater 02/20/14 - 04:20 pm
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Sweet son, its only

Sweet son, its only redistribution if someone else gets it, don't ya know?

Junket103
452
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Junket103 02/20/14 - 06:11 pm
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OT Well Deserved

Kudos to all of the County staff, badge wearing or otherwise, that put in the extra hours and effort to help during this emergency. We are lucky to live in an area of the country where events of this magnitude are generational and not a yearly expectation. I am grateful for the pre-storm preparation and the massive response by both counties. The response from Georgia Power was particularly impressive and certainly helped speed the recovery. The OT is well deserved and hard earned. If a special tax is needed to cover the unplanned expenses to pay for it, then I would consider such a proposal.

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