Tifton leaders consider CARES Act pay for police, firefighters

Tifton city leaders talk CARES Act pay for cops & firefighters plus more work session

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Some extra cash could be on the way to Tifton officers and firefighters.

It was discussed at Tuesday night’s work session.

The first responders would be paid through the CARES Act that was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City leaders believe the money is a part of their new roles in the COVID-19 pandemic during a temporary time frame.

“Mannerisms, the new training, how to deal with that. So they’ve done a remarkable job and we appreciate all their efforts, and part of the CARES Act is about personnel and dealing with this pandemic," said Tifton City Manager Pete Pyrzenksi.

City Manager Pete Pyrzenksi.
City Manager Pete Pyrzenksi. (Source: WALB)

This money would come from phase one, which has already been approved for city leaders to get.

Phase two is just over $600,000.

City leaders said they will talk more about this once the money comes in.

More from Tifton’s Tuesday work session

Tifton Police are getting more calls about people panhandling.

Panhandling calls increase in Tifton

After discussing this during the city council’s session Tuesday night, updates or changes to the current panhandling ordinance aren’t likely to happen, according to Tifton City Attorney Rob Wilmot.

Wilmot said there’s nothing city leaders can do now to the existing ordinance.

“The ordinance that the mayor and council talked about a year an a half ago wasn’t aggressive but it contained all the language that we need to address it,” said Pyrzenksi.

Tifton Police Chief Steve Hyman addressed the council about the issue Tuesday night. He said panhandlers are even reaching out to people at drive-thru restaurants.

Council said they do have concerns about this and want to keep the public safe and they plan to talk more about solutions at a later date.

The council also discussed that the Tifton Inert Landfill is running out of room. Tifton leaders are talking about moving the landfill to a new location. This would close the site on Amour Road.

The Tifton Inert Landfill
The Tifton Inert Landfill (Source: WALB)

“Residents, it really shouldn’t impact them whatsoever. We are concerned with contractors and the collectors making sure we don’t add costs if we could to them but again, they have efficiencies and so does the city,” said Pyrzenksi.

The council is exploring other solutions before doing this.

They don’t plan to go up on fees with residents but possibly on contracts or timber surgeons, who bring in larger loads.

They said operational costs have also gone up. These two combined have caused a strain on the Inert Landfill.

If the landfill is moved, it would be relocated to the landfill on Mitchell Store Road.

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