By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
Hart County plans to hire at least three people to replace male prison workers from the Whitworth Detention Center.
At its regular meeting last week, the Hart County Board of Commissioners heard from County Administrator Jon Caime on the topic.
He told the board Whitworth is not offering individual workers at this time and is only sending out entire female work crews with a prison guard, which he says Hart County does not need.
Caime originally said that it would cost Hart County 350 to 400 thousand dollars to replace male prison labor lost by the county when Whitworth switched to an all-female facility. However, he notes that in most cases, Hart County departments using prison workers were instead able to transfer those duties to current employees.
Two exceptions were in the Road and Recreation departments.
In the road department, Caime says that Hart County needs to hire one person to work on a bush-hogging crew full-time in a minimum-wage position.
Meanwhile, Hart County Recreation Director Jim Owens says his department needs two employees to get ball fields ready for this season, after losing those workers from Whitworth.
Owens asked for two full-time seasonal employees because of the amount of work he said was involved and for safety reasons. The new employees would work April through September, according to Owens.
The Hart County Commission approved both requests unanimously. In the case of the Recreation Department jobs, Hart County Commissioners approved the request provided high school students get first priority.