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County votes to give sheriff’s department one-time bonus

Members of the Chilton County Commission voted to approve a one-time bonus for the sheriff’s department during the Dec. 14 meeting.

The topic was originally brought up during the Nov. 23 commission meeting by commissioner Joseph Parnell.

Parnell told commissioners he wanted the commission to consider approving a raise for the sheriff’s department if funds were available.

During the Nov. 23 meeting, Parnell said every department in the county had received a raise for 2015 except for the sheriff’s department.

“I think it would be good to show the sheriff’s department that we appreciate them,” Parnell said.

Parnell initially wanted the commission to pass a resolution during the Nov. 23 meeting to approve a resolution telling members of the sheriff’s department they would receive some sort of pay increase.

“I want some kind of resolution when we leave here tonight that tells those guys we care about them,” Parnell said.

Commissioners decided to let county administrator Connie Powell look at ways the county could find the funds to approve for the sheriff’s department and report back at the Dec. 14 meeting.

Powell told Parnell on Dec. 14 that she was still doing research as to how the county could provide a one-time bonus for the department.

Parnell decided to make a motion that contingent on Powell’s findings and the legality of giving a one-time bonus, that the commission approve up to $40,000 for the sheriff’s department.

Parnell clarified that the money would be carryover funds from 2014 to be used for the sheriff’s department.

Commissioners questioned if Sheriff John Shearon and Chief Deputy Gerald Mims would be included in the motion.

Shearon, who was present at the meeting, said the bonus would not include him, but would include Mims.