County deals with holiday absences

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Lincoln County supervisors say they are maintaining “skeletoncrews” during the holiday season as workers take off in order toavoid losing accumulated leave time at the end of the year.

Supervisors said they have made preparations for the absencesand are continuing operations as normal.

“We’ve scheduled our crews so that we don’t have them all off atone time,” said District Four Supervisor W.D. “Doug” Moak. “I’vegot a pretty full crew this week, but next week’s going to bepretty thin.”

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District Two Supervisor Bobby J. Watts expressed similarcomments.

“We’re always prepared for Christmas and the New Year’sholidays,” Watts said. “Everything’s going well.”

District Five Supervisor Gary Walker said the slower times haveallowed officials to catch up on maintenance needs. He said crewsare working on tractors and other equipment as needed.

“It’s running pretty smooth out in five now,” Walker said.

Supervisors said some rainy days have also helped in providingtime for equipment upkeep and repair. In the field, crews have beencutting limbs over roadways, which supervisors said is easier to doin the fall.

“It’s the general items, mostly maintenance, and we’ll keepplugging away at it,” Moak said.

County Administrator David Fields said county employees cancarry over only 96 hours of annual leave from year to year. He saidemployees have been using any hours over and above that limit asleave time.

“We’ll have some take off so they don’t lose that,” Fields said.”If they don’t take off, they’ll lose it Jan. 1.”

In addition, county offices will be closed Thursday and Fridayfor Christmas and Thursday of the next week for New Year’s.

“We didn’t declare what the governor declared,” Moak said.

The county closings vary slightly from the state schedule, whichdeclared offices closed half a day Wednesday and full days onThursday and Friday for both holidays. City offices are followingthe state schedule.

With state offices closed, Fields said residents won’t be ableto pay for car tags Wednesday afternoon. The tax office, however,will be open to accept land tax payments.

Also, the solid waste office will be open Wednesday afternoon toaccept garbage bill payments.

Fields reminded customers that they can save $12 if they pay $96for the year in advance. The garbage bill totals $108 if the feesare paid quarterly.

Following the holidays, Moak expected busy times for countyemployees when crews are back at full force next year.

“We’ll come back after the first of the year roaring and ready,”Moak said.