- GEMA REIMBURSEMENT: Gordon County received $33,915 from GEMA to reimburse the general fund for large mobile signs acquired through a public safety grant. These signs can be deployed to provide information regarding hazards, detours or other safety information.
- AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021: The first round of reporting is due in August. So far, Gordon County has not committed any of the ARPA money for any purpose. The finance committee continues to actively plan for use of the money. The permissible uses include, premium pay for certain employees, purchase of personal protection equipment, incentives to encourage vaccinations, broadband, water and sewer infrastructure, capital improvements to meet special operational needs due to the pandemic, and other needs to mitigate losses due to the pandemic. The current plan is for the finance committee to bring a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners for a partial expenditure of funds as early as next meeting.
- TAX DIGEST: The Gordon County Tax Assessors Office has distributed Tax Consolidation Sheets to Gordon County Administration and similar departments at the Cities and School Districts. This is the earliest consolidations have been ready in many years. Our Finance Director will prepare comparisons that will assist in determining true growth, inflationary growth, whether a tax rollback is required and in helping the BOC determine the millage rate. Historically, the BOC sets the millage rate in September.
- EXCELLENCE IN FINANCIAL REPORTING: The Gordon County Finance Department has been recognized again for achieving excellence in financial reporting in the production of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Gordon County exceeds the standards for disclosure in its annual audit. The CAFR is available to the public online at www.gordoncounty.org. We recognize Finance Director, Jason Brown, and former Finance Director, Al Leonard, for maintaining such high standards in financial reporting since the mid 2000’s.
SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS AND ACTIVITY
- COVID-19 TASK FORCE: The task force met last Tuesday. Advent Health reported 5 Covid positive patients and none on ventilators. This week 8 patients are hospitalized with Covid and one is on a ventilator. About 25% of the people in Gordon County are fully vaccinated. Local experience is showing that vaccinated people generally have much milder symptoms and can avoid hospitalization if they do acquire the virus. Overall, the Delta variant appears to be causing an increase in local numbers.
- CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS:
- Judicial Building: Construction continues to proceed well. Drywall is installed on the first and second floors and is going in on the third floor. Keith King has been coordinating with the future occupants to select Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment. We remain on schedule for an opening in February 2022.
- Historic Courthouse: Renovations to the Historic Courthouse are expected to commence upon completion of the Judicial Building. Planning has ramped up as reflected by some interior design changes to accommodate Court needs. The rising costs of goods and materials are a concern we are monitoring closely.
- Juvenile Court: As part of the overall Courthouse project, some modifications are underway at the County building on Newtown Road. This building has been occupied by the Juvenile Court Adjust program which will remain there with the addition of Court services and hearing space.
- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
- Buc-ee’s has set a date for its grand opening on August 23, 2021.
- The City of Calhoun has requested the regional commission to initiate a DRI (Developmental Regional Impact) study of the Payne farm on Salem Road as part of its Annexation proceedings for that county tract. The Regional commission has given us the DRI paperwork. A developer has proposed to put a warehouse in excess of 1 million square feet on the property. The warehouse is expected to generate traffic of 1944 trips per day. At the peak times, the site is expected to see 169 cars in an hour in the morning and 172 in an hour in the afternoon. The Developer will be expected to address these substantial traffic impacts with necessary road improvements before the county issues a driveway permit(s). In addition, the Developer must consult with the FAA and Airport Authority for safety issues due to the proximity to the runway.
- CSX RAILROAD: Trains blocking the tracks at Highway 136 in Resaca have been a problem for as long as I can remember. On July 12, 2021, I received calls from citizens when a train blocked the road for several hours. I remain concerned that this is a matter of public safety so sent a letter to the head of Risk Management for CSX. I got a reply that the train had engine failure and a new crew had to be brought in. I appreciate the prompt response but the road gets blocked too often. CSX has given its commitment to“…do everything it can move forward to prevent abnormally long blockages.”