The District Attorney’s office requested nearly $900,000 from the Troup County Commission to fund the Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
The request entails hiring an additional attorney, investigator and support staff and give a five percent merit increase to employees.
Majority of $897,814 requested will fund 28 percent of the five-circuit’s budget and $158, 797 of it will be used to fund the Victim Assistance Program.
District Attorney Pete Skandalakis told commissioners that the Coweta Judicial Circuit – which includes Troup, Heard, Carroll, Coweta and Meriwether counties – has the fifth highest caseload in the state with about 300 cases per assistant DA. It also had one of the lowest starting salaries for ADAs at $43,281 and none have received pay raises in five years.
Troup County has the second highest caseload in the circuit.
“We have fallen so far behind, it’s impossible to keep up,” Skandalakis said.
Last year, Skandalakis requested to add three attorneys, three investigators and three support staff to the DA’s office in its proposed $1,024,803 budget. Twenty-five percent of that budget included operating expenses and 3.29 percent for employer costs. Commission approved a $862,360 budget for the DA budget for the 2013 fiscal year, according to County Manager Tod Tentler.
Though this year’s request is not nearly enough to satisfy the circuit’s needs, Skandalakis said the request is a more comfortable request to the commissioners.
In other news, Troup County Planner Nancy Seegar asked for commissioners’ consideration in applying for a Community Development Block Grant that would put fire hydrants along South Oak Pine Hill, Maple Lane, Ash, Willis and Hale Drive.
The resolution required that the match amount be $17,500 to secure the $350,000 grant. Chairman Ricky Wolfe suggested doubling the match amount to $35,000 to increase the chances of securing the grant. All commissioners agreed.
Commission also reviewed a resolution that would turn all assets of the Troup County Airport Authority over to the county.
LaGrange, Hogansville, West Point and county officials voted on a resolution to dissolve the airport authority several months ago and the resolution is awaiting the signature of Governor Nathan Deal. Upon receiving the signature, the airport authority would become an advisory board.
The airport would remain the property of both the city of LaGrange and the county, but all assets, regarding accounts and equipment, would be in ownership of the county since the county maintains and operates the facility.
A minor amendment to include two additions to the 2013 budget was also proposed by county Finance Officer Scott Turk.
The first was a vehicle purchased during former Sheriff Donny Turner’s term that was purchased, but not invoiced until after the budget’s approval. In addition, the expenses and revenues related to having the Airport Director position on the county payroll was not included in the budget, however, the airport authority reimbursed the county for the costs, though the expense and revenue were unbudgeted.
The total budget amendment to balance the categories is $44,583 to recognize revenues and expenses.