- The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement Thursday that identifies projects to be funded by a new round of special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST VII.
Participating cities have until Jan. 28 to sign the agreement.
County voters will decide whether to approve the 1 percent sales tax on March 17.
- The board also approved an alcohol license for Sweet Acre Farms. The farm winery in North Hall is on its way to becoming the first of its kind in the county once it receives federal and state licensing.
- Finally, the board approved rezoning about 22 acres near the Jones Creek subdivision in South Hall for the development of homes that are part of a larger project spanning the Hall-Gwinnett border.
Hall County officials have made a policy change that will allow some retirees to continue working part time while also collecting pensions.
The move is particularly targeted to supplement staffing in local public safety agencies, including the sheriff’s office and Hall County Fire Services.
Retired county employees can now work in their specific job role on a part-time basis, if a vacancy exists.
Commissioner Scott Gibbs said the county will not be creating new positions for retirees.
Available part-time work will mean no more than 28 hours a week in order to avoid accruing health benefits as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Retirement benefits can be collected while working, however.
“It makes more sense to keep that experience within the county vs. losing that employee to another company because of this restriction,” said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes.
While the office has no current jobs filled by retirees, or any vacancies of that kind, Bailes said, “We do feel that this lifted restriction would greatly benefit the county ... allowing employees to maintain a part-time position that they are trained and have knowledge in.”
Fire Chief Jeff Hood said the change will save taxpayers money on training costs for new hires, while also limiting vacancies on the force.
“This will allow us to hire personnel that we personally know and that have had very good careers here at Hall County,” Hood said. “These people could retire and be put back on shift and be able to make an immediate impact on our staffing.”