8/18/2020 BOC Work Session Minutes

AUGUST 18, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

Members Present
Becky Hood, Chairman
Chad Steward, Vice Chairman
M. L. Owens, Commissioner
Norris Sexton, Commissioner
Kevin Cunningham, Commissioner

Others Present
Jim Ledbetter, County Administrator
Approximately 7 Guests

Chairman Hood called the meeting to order.

County Administrator Ledbetter explained the rezoning items and each item on the agenda under New Business. He made a request to the Board to add an item to the agenda for approval of the Parks and Recreation Department to fill a vacant position for a Recreation Supervisor. If we can keep everyone safe due to Covid-19, we are supposed to start football, softball, cheerleading and baseball at the Recreation Department in September. That position was vacated by Craig Sparks who was recently appointed to the position of Director of Parks and Recreation. There was a consensus of the Board to add this item to the Regular Meeting agenda.

County Administrator responded to a previous request from Commissioner Owens regarding the fireworks law and a Noise Ordinance for Gordon County. He stated that the Georgia Fireworks law is that there are certain holidays like July 3 and 4th, New Years Eve and New Years Day, first Monday in September, and last Saturday and Sunday in May, those are set by State law and you can shoot fireworks from 10:00 am to 11:59 pm except to 1:00 am on January 1. We cannot modify those. You can shoot fireworks on any day from 10:00 am to 11:59 pm unless you are not in compliance with a noise ordinance of the County. Right now our county is under State Law. If the County does an ordinance, it would fall under the Code Enforcement officer. Any County ordinance regarding fireworks must be in conjunction with a full fledge noise ordinance and must be enacted after July 1, 2018. The Board would have to decide if it wants to explore going beyond State law and if chooses to do so then you would have to do it as part of a general noise ordinance. You have to have at least 15 days of notification and have a public hearing on it.

County Administrator gave a report on the Cares Act relief fund. This has been a time-consuming process but we have gotten agreement with officials at the State of Georgia. The State of Georgia states that we should be getting reimbursement for our front-line public safety officials as they respond to Covid. We are preparing a claim that will be for public safety first responder time, overtime and benefits up to an amount that does not exceed what we have received as the first allotment of $607,000. After that, we become eligible for the remaining $1.4 million allocation. This money comes in, its money we have spent and we will be able to use up over the $2 million allocation for the time period March 1 until December 30. That’s 80% of our budget amount for road deputies, responding deputies, first line responders or deputies and fire, which is above $3 million range, so it won’t make us whole but it will help.

County Administrator also reported on the Tax Digest. In 2015 our millage rate was 9.930, in 2016 it was 9.8530, in 2017 it was 9.8290, in 2918 it was 9.6310, and 2019 it was 9.6310. If everything works out the way we think it will on the digest, we will be having a rollback to 9.5970. I don’t think that Mr. Leonard or I will be recommending that we do not roll back; I think we will be recommending that we accept the rollback because we are in good enough financial shape that we don’t have to advertise a tax increase by not rolling back.

Commissioner Sexton made a motion to adjourn the Work Session. Commissioner Owens seconded the motion and Commissioners Sexton, Owens, Steward, and Cunningham voted aye.

There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 5:55 pm

Author: County Clerk

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