The Jackson County Commission discussed a potential retirement buyout for county employees.

This would allow the county to save money by offering a lump sum payment to employees at the top of the pay scale. Then replacements could be hired into these positions at a lower point in the scale

The last time the county offered a retirement buyout was six years ago.

In 2014 — when the county last offered a retirement buyout — individuals who met retirement requirements, but below 25 years at the county were offered $12,000 lump sum to retire, and those above 25 years were offered $17,000 to retire.

The commission has indicated that these numbers are more of a jumping off point than definitive, and debate on a potential buyout is likely to continue as commissioners seek more information on potential savings for the county.

According to Commission Chairman Tim Guffey, the county saved roughly $100,000 over a two- to three-year period depending on which county employees took the buyout.

The commission approved the purchase of more garbage containers that can be used with the County’s front end loaded garbage trucks.

The purchase of two boom mowers were approved off of the state surplus list. The mowers will replace two of the County’s current mowers — both of which have over 6,000 operating hours on them.

Jonathan Campbell, the county engineer, described the county’s current mowers as “ticking time bombs” during the meeting and added that replacing them was inevitable.

Revenue Commissioner Jeff Arnold suggested that the county potentially waive the $2 mail fee if a tag, after the first one, was renewed online. Arnold did not recommend that the mail fee be waived if a new hard plate had to be sent out.

“If we’re promoting social distancing and we’d rather people to do online than I’d like to be able to offer than incentive to them,” said Arnold. “To maybe save them some money if they’d do that online.”

Guffey said in an interview that the fee waiver would likely be added to the agenda of the next commission meeting and expects such a measure to pass.

Recommendations from the Hiring Committee were approved to hire an office manager and clerk at the Sanitation Department.

A public hearing was set for the vacating of County Road 675 for Nov. 23.

The County Commission will next meet on Oct. 5.

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