4/2/2016 BOC Special Meeting Minutes
GORDON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING
April 2, 2016
Barnsley Gardens, Adairsville, Georgia
Commissioners Kevin Cunningham and Jeff Gazaway, Commissioner Becky Hood, Commissioner Chad Steward ,Commissioner Norris Sexton, County Administrator John King, County Attorney Jim Ledbetter, County Clerk, Annette Berry, Al Leonard, County Finance Director and Facilitator Gordon Maner .
Topics of discussion and highlights were as follows:
County Administrator King introduced Mr. Maner to the Board and staff attendees.
Mr. Maner spoke and advised the members about his background and experience in facilitating planning retreats for Georgia counties.
ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS:
The Facilitator asked each participant to answer what they were most proud of that the commission had accomplished and what one thing they would like accomplished in next 12 months.
Further questions to answer were : For you to be successful, what do you need or expect from your fellow commissioners. Then what do you expect and need from your staff.
Then staff was asked to answer what do they need from the commissioners.
The subject of the County Administrator hiring a part time assistant was discussed. Finance Director Leonard adding this in the budget and a consensus to have County Administrator King figure out what he needs and propose it to the Board.
County Finance Director Leonard handed out shortfall information on SPLOST and explained what caused it.
The Board also received a handout showing the effect to Gordon County on increasing Freeport exemptions.
Administrator King advised that the Fire Chief has proposed a budget and a plan to hire three new positions for the Fire Department on the east side of the County. To be housed at the Ranger Firestation which would be refurbished. Also, move three firefighters from another station to man this station with two firefighters on each shift . There was a consensus of the Board to follow this recommendation from the Fire Chief.
10 YEAR VISION FOR GROWN AND DEVELOPMENT:
100% Freeport was discussed as a plan for the future.
Office Buildings, mixed use development, improve South 41, capitalize on agriculture assets were suggestion for the future.
Civil War Parks and other quality of life amenities were suggested.
Expand recreation department to bring in tournaments, make ball fields tournament size was put forth as a way to draw in tourist dollars.
Use Salacoa as part of Lake Point, possibly build cabins at Salacoa, advertise Salacoa to make tourist more aware.
Technology centers, computer manufacturer would diversify industry in Gordon County.
Build a conference center that would house different events.
Make available more educational opportunities.
SPLOST PRIORITIES FOR 2018:
Fire Protection, Public Works, fire hydrants, sheriff’s cars, would then leave around $15 M to buy land for job creation for economic development and 5 M for recreation.
Pay off debt was put forth, it was pointed out SPLOST cannot be used for this except for funds left over after all projects are complete.
Build a convention center.
SUMMIT MEETING WITH CITY OF CALHOUN:
County Administrator advised the Board about the progress that has been made and plans discussed for the upcoming summit meeting. Plans are to come out with a specific focus for economic development, we don’t want more warehouses for Gordon County.
Where is the best place to hold the summit meeting, was discussed. Consensus to hold out of town and spend the night, hold meeting at either Cohutta Springs, or Forum and possibly stay at Hawthorn.
The difficulty of revising the existing ULDC was discussed and there was a consensus to revise the whole code , hire consultant to do this.
Everyone agreed this was the best planning meeting the Board has ever had, with serious discussion and decisions being made.