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Dooly Commissioners conduct county business

By BECKY CRISSMAN
becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

VIENNA — County Commissioners along with Dooly County Recreation Department Director Jacob Joiner and Byromville citizen Shantinika Felton discussed ways to help bring more rec opportunities to children who live in that area.
Felton had approached commissioners at previous meetings asking for a solution to the lack of recreation in Byromville for children who do not have means to travel to the county recreation department.
Thursday, during the commission’s regular meeting Felton inquired about the date of the next meeting of the rec board. Joiner advised her it would be held around the beginning of June and that he would let her know the date and time so she could be in attendance at that meeting. Felton informed Joiner and the commissioners that there were several properties in District 5 that were up for sale and asked if Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds reserved for recreation could be used to purchase property.
County Attorney Bert Gregory informed Felton that a government entity would have to own the property because the county is not allowed to make improvements on privately owned land. Commissioner Eugene Cason asked about land owners getting a tax break for donating property.
Joiner agreed there was nothing by way of recreation available in Byromville and informed he would like to help come up with a solution.
“We need a good place that the kids can walk to,” he said. “The best idea would be to improve the basketball court and apply for a grant to add a playground to the area.”
Byromville is not eligible to apply for grants until the next fiscal year. Commission Chairman Terrell Hudson said it sounded like there were several good possibilities to look into and advised that the Byromville City Council come up with a solid plan to present to the county.
The Middle Flint Regional E-911 Authority submitted their funding request for FY 2016-2017 requesting a $4,600 increase in funding bringing the amount to $38,841. Commissioners approved the request.
Also on the agenda:
Commissioners approved the purchase of two Automated Chest Compression Devices for EMS. Commissioner David Barron abstained from that vote.
Several roads on the LMIG list for the county have been completed.
Sylvester Granville questioned commissioners in regards to the hiring practices for Dooly County EMS. He wanted to know why there are no minorities employed by the department. EMS Don Williford said they currently do not have any positions open. He said however every African American that has applied has been hired. He informed Granville that they compete with other areas that pay more money and have a higher call volume because that is what newly graduated EMTs are looking for.
Williford said that all new EMTs are paid the same amount of money. Granville suggested raising taxes to help pay EMS more money but Hudson advised him that they are stewards of the taxpayer’s money and that they must be cautious with how they spend taxpayer money.