United Way, volunteering to ring the bell for the Salvation Army, donating blood

during blood drives, helping with various fundraisers and food drives, giving of them- selves selflessly. Thank you!”

Coming off an election year, the Laurel City Council has three new members (Andrea Ellis, Shirley Keys-Jor- dan and Kevin Kelly) joining four incumbents (Grace Amos, Jason Capers, George Carmichael and Tony Thaxton), Magee noted.

ed by Nellie Satcher, and that department has three other full-time employees and one part-timer. The city has 241 active employees, down from the 300 around the same time the previous year. Included in that number are seven AmeriCorps employees who work year- round. Three employees were processed for retirement during the year.

The department processed an additional 71 candidates for employment from a
total of 184 applications taken, 101 drug screens and 46 physicals. Civil Service Exams were administered on six occasions for the police department and fire department. Employees received 42 flu shots during the year.

A total of 75 COVID vaccinations were administered by South Central Regional Medical Center and 19 were administered by the Department of Human Services at the fairgrounds. They also participated in two job fairs across the year. The HR department handled open enrollment, where empees choose the insurance coverages they want for the upcoming year.

The payroll department, which is a part of Human Resources, processes city employees’ biweekly payrolls, handling all tax and PERS forms along with payments for dental, vision, AFLAC, burial and life insurances. Satcher also prepares employees’ W-2 forms, handles dues to fire and police unions and payments to United Way.

There are also 73 child-support orders, 25 garnishments and three bankruptcy payments for city employees.

The Safety Department, which is also part of HR, conducts quarterly safety meetings with each department.

“The Safety Officer makes sure that employees are not double-dipping while on workers’ comp claims,”’ Ma gee said. “She keeps tabs on expired driver’s licenses to make sure that city employees are current, to prevent the city from being in a liability situation. We are also about to begin to do the same with Suez employees who drive city vehicles, to make sure that their licenses are valid.

“The safety officer also has problems with some departments reporting accidents on time and also ensuring that employees undergo drug screenings when hav ing an accident.”

A new communication system was installed at the Sportsplex, Magee said in a short assessment of the city’s Information Technology Services Department. Through the use of fiber-optic connectivity, all fields and dugouts have been connected for communication and internet access. Internet connectivity is now provided at all press boxes and the hospitality center through a centralized system.

“Internet speeds are consistent at each location,” he said.

Some of the biggest changes in the city’s IT infrastructure began to happen with the implementation of the 2022 budget, Magee said.

“Our current computer lease has expired, and we are installing new computers that will be faster and more productive than our current models,” he said, adding that the network wiring in City Hall will also be upgraded. “We discovered some net work wiring 25-plus years old … Jeff Williams is hoping that this wiring will also improve the effectiveness of the phone system in the city.

“We will also be upgrading network connectivity devices as needed to improve the computer network at City Hall. This year there are plans for four new fields at the Sportsplex. We will be connecting the new fields to the new communication system when they are complete.

“Also in the coming year, we are working with the different departments to expand the scope of our use of GIS infrastructure and mapping technology to improve city services. With the city’s commitment to its citizens and services, the ITS Department is striving to keep the technology needs at the forefront of current standards to maximize the efficiency for every department to perform at its greatest potential.” 

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