Toccoa, Stephens Co. To Continue Using Prison Work Details

The city of Toccoa and Stephens County will both continue to use prison crews from Lee Arrendale Prison in Alto to pick up litter and do other work.

On Tuesday, both city and county commissioners unanimously approved renewing their respective contracts with the Georgia Department of Corrections to each receive a work detail for another year.

Toccoa Mayor Gail Fry said this group does a tremendous service for the city, not just picking up litter, but cutting and trimming grass and doing other work.

“We really get a lot for our money and they really work hard,” said Fry. “I think this is some of the best money we can spend.”

Stephens County Commission Chairman Dean Scarborough said the county also gets a tremendous benefit for the money from the work detail.

“We have had them in place now for just a short while, but they work extremely well,” said Scarborough.

The cost will remain the same to the city and county as each entity will pay the Department of Corrections $39,500 for one work detail.

That covers the cost of an officer’s salary and benefits to handle the work detail.

Stephens County Administrator Phyllis Ayers noted that it provides a great benefit, but added that it is money that could be used elsewhere if people would not litter.

“This is one of these areas,” said Ayers. “We are all fussing about needing to increase the millage rate but we are having to pay as a government to pick up behind people that will not pick up for themselves. Here’s $40,000 we could use elsewhere or take from the millage rate increase.”

Both the city and county are including funding for the work detail in their proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budgets.