- SPLOST AND LOST: SPLOST and LOST revenue shown in the report dated July 31, 2020, reflect collections reported for June 2020. For that period, SPLOST collections were $847, 752.66 which is a $76,939.28 (9.98%) increase over the same period last year. LOST collections were $537,252.62 which is a $48,744.28 (9.98%) increase over the same period last year. For the last 12 months, SPLOST was up 7.01%, and LOST was up 2.38%.
- TAX DIGEST: The current year tax digest is under review by the Finance Department. It appears the net digest will be down $631,798. This number is close to the decrease in revenue predicted as a result of an increased Freeport Exemption.
- TAX ASSESSMENT: The Tax Assessor, Dana Burch, reports that there were 416 appeals filed on 2020 tax assessment notices. This is a low number compared to prior years. 210 of the Appeals have been resolved and 206 remain.
- C.A.R.E.S. ACT: The Agreement between Gordon County and the State of Georgia is on the agenda for consideration tonight and will be discussed at length at that time.
SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS AND ACTIVITY
- COVID-19: Gordon County continues to participate in the COVID-19 task force meetings on a weekly basis. This task force was formed in early March and includes an open discussion between EMA; Calhoun P.D; Fire; and Administration; E-911; GEMA; Calhoun City Schools; The Gordon County Schools; Plainville; Resaca; Fairmount; Several Churches and the VAC; Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facilities; Advent Health; the Department of Public Health; Gordon County Sheriff’s Office; Gordon County Fire Department; and, County Administration.
The task force met by video conference on Tuesday, July 28. At that time, Advent Health reported the hospital is able to manage its patients and is prepared to handle the pandemic. On July 28, there were 16 COVID patients admitted in the hospital which was down from a high of 21 cases.
The Health Department is testing about 100/150 people per day. E911 reported there were 24 households in the county with 1 or more people who had tested positive for the virus.
- HEALTH DEPARTMENT: The Health Department project is complete with very few punch list items remaining.
- ANNEX/COURTHOUSE: The Construction Manager (CM) gave its preliminary cost estimates to county staff for the annex on Friday, June 5th. At the County’s request, the CM has “value-engineered” the project to lower costs to meet budget requirements and to estimate the costs associated with the Main Courthouse renovations. As a result of the CM’s efforts, the construction costs have decreased significantly. However, the budget remains very tight and we are now trying to anticipate all conceivable expenditures to ensure the plans can be built within the budget.
- SPLASH PAD & PAVILION: The Splash Pad and Pavilion are complete, open, and being enjoyed by our citizens.
- BROADBAND READINESS: Chairman Hood continues to spearhead our efforts to bring high-speed internet to un-served areas of the county. Most recently she facilitated a meeting with an industry expert to learn about infrastructure needs. GIS, E911, and our partners at Spillman have created an electronic data file to be used by high-speed internet providers as an overlay to compare population densities in areas of the county with the provider’s coverage maps. This will help the provider evaluate a potential return on investment if the provider assumes the cost of infrastructure improvements.
- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Interest in industrial development in the county remains high despite the pandemic. The Gordon County/Calhoun Development Authority met last week and reviewed a number of projects.
Buc-ee’s Travel Plaza has begun construction and expects to open in June 2021 according to an onsite engineer. The project includes a much-needed traffic light at the intersection of Bellwood, Union Grove, and Johnson Lake Roads.
The Gordon Floyd Joint Development Authority reports renewed interest in its property in Floyd County.
- EVIDENCE BUILDING AND MORGUE: The county has obtained a schematic design from the Architects. However, we have asked the Architects to redraw the design because it appears the construction of that design would substantially exceed the budgeted SPLOST amount.
- EMERGENCY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS: The county is exploring options to upgrade emergency radio communications to provide coverage in un-served areas.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT VENDOR SEMINAR: County Purchasing Director, Regan Bramblett, participated as a presenter in a seminar to teach local vendors how to do business with local governments. I would like to remind our citizens that the County Financial Policies have a local vendor preference and we prefer to do business with people and firms who have a stake in our community.
- STORM DAMAGE: EMA reports that 21 structures were damaged in the severe weather yesterday. Public Works reported a number of trees and power lines came down due to high winds. Thankfully we have received no reports of injuries.
- ELECTIONS: Early voting continues in the run-off election for the seat vacated by the retirement of Tom Graves.