Williamson County Commissioners Court discusses peace officer pay, hears Capital Metro presentation during today's meeting

The Williamson County Commissioners Court met Tuesday for its weekly meeting.

The Williamson County Commissioners Court met Tuesday for its weekly meeting.

Williamson County Commissioners Court continued discussion Tuesday on shifting the county's peace officers from a tenure-based pay system to one based on merit.

Tara Raymore, the county's senior human resources director, told commissioners that with federal insurance contributions and retirement savings taken into account, the shift could cost the county more than $250,000 the first year, about $520,000 the second year and almost $800,000 the third year.

She clarified that these estimates assume a 3 percent pay raise would be received between steps each year, which has been the case for the tenure-based chart the past two years. An additional cost of $48,000 would be incurred to move employees to the new chart.

Project Connect update

Commissioners also received updates Tuesday from Capital Metro officials on the status of Project Connect, the regional high-capacity transit proposal for Central Texas. The first phase of the plan, which has reviewed potential projects from previous planning efforts to select the most suitable traffic corridors, is expected to be approved in late June.

The project, which would be implemented across the greater Austin area and includes plans to establish a commuter rail, bus rapid transit and express bus, will then move into phase two. The second phase will focus on the selected projects and investment corridors, including alternative modes of transit, routes and technologies. Potential costs and benefits of alternatives, as well as a detailed comparative analysis to help select projects, will also be looked at, according to Capital Metro.

An open house is scheduled July 26 to gather public input. The project is expected to be online in late 2018, according to Capital Metro.

At the end of the meeting, the court approved an agreement for training and traumatic event response for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office from Tania Glenn & Associates, PA.

The Austin-based company works to serve the mental health needs of first responders through intervention, including individual and group debriefings, stress management strategies, in the aftermath of critical incidents and advanced training on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Commissioners agreed to a contract that will end Sept. 30, 2017, at a prorated rate, to be discussed in more depth next week.


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