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Wilcox County Commissioners Meeting

Chairman Lanier Keene called meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. followed by prayer from Comm. Jowan Johnson, then all in attendance pledged to the flag.

The minutes from the previous months meetings were approved.

Guests with public comments were Carter Clements was on list, but was not present at this time. Next was Mr. Julian Pittman representing residents on Killdeer Road who have requested the road be paved.  Mr. Pittman presented commissioners with packets of their journey through the process of trying to get improvements to or get Killdeer Road paved. Mr. Pittman stated there were two major questions he would like answered by the next meeting and they are: 1. Is it possible to get Killdeer approved and paved.  2. What are the criteria to get road approved for paving in Wilcox County? Is it number of residents on road, public safety issues, etc – what are the criteria.  He continued that part of the packet provided also shows that in regards to TSPLOT road list, there is a procedure in place to change the band in which a road is paved. Chairman Keene stated at next workshop, the commission would give definitive answers to his questions.

Next up was DNR Game Warden John Allen Stokes, who gave a history of DNR and their functions, which was very informative. Warden Stokes has been with DNR for 31 years and stated there is a shortage of officers for DNR. He works three counties this side of the river. Stokes informed that Game Wardens have total law enforcement authority. He told of the massive amount of training required to become a game warden. They have eight K-9 teams and three pilots for helicopter and planes, search and rescue teams, and Counter Terrorism Task Force teams. There have been eight wardens killed in the line of duty since it’s inception in 1911, which Stokes stated was a high rate as game wardens work an average of 30 years. He also wanted to let all hunters and fishermen know and be aware that all license fees will increase 50% beginning July 1, 2017.  Lifetime license fees will increase from $500 to $750 for Adult, which is age 16 and up,

$350 to $500 for youth age 2-15, $200 to $300 for kids under 2.

So if you are interested in lifetime license, you only have a few days left before the price increase. All hunter safety class requirements can be done online and purchase license at dnr.ga.gov . Warden Stokes then answered questions from those in attendance. Chairman Keene thanked Warden Stokes for his informative talk.

Carter Clements from Rhine Drug Company, which is also with Abbeville Drugs, made a presentation in reference to regaining the prescription drug business for the Wilcox Sheriff’s Office.  He stated that they had been doing business with the jail for 10 years since 2000 until recently.  He stated he could save the county 40% on drug costs for the inmates with 24/7, 365-day service.  He stated they could pre-package the medication right here at Abbeville Drugs. He stated he could provide the drugs for $700-$800 month max and anything above that, he would eat the cost.  Chairman Keene advised him that Sheriff Rodger’s office would be re-bidding the contract in January 2018.

Department Head reports were up next with Janice Brown-Coronor reporting that herself and two assistant coroners had recently completed coroner required training. She also advised that she was elected 1st Vice President to the Coroner’s Association, which the commission and those in attendance congratulated her on. Charles Futch – EMS director stated they had ran 114 calls for the previous month. Larry Brown- EMA director stated all was good. Adam Dowdy Road Superintendent had nothing to report.

Mrs. Julie Childers, Superintendent of Wilcox Schools, was up next to request that commissioners sign a document, as required, which in the event the ESPLOST funds were not adequate to pay for new school that the commission who would levy the tax to make up for any shortfall. Mrs. Childers stated they do not feel this will happen as they have been collecting ESPLOST for 30 years and collect approximately $380,000.00 annually from ESPLOST, so they should be about $100,000 per year to the good. She advised that there is a provision in year 11 they could pay off the bonds without penalty and save money by not going 20 years. She reported the state had given Wilcox 23 million for construction, which is 80% of the cost. Comm. Reid made motion to allow Chairman Keene to sign document on behalf of commission and second by Comm. Johnson and the motion carried.

Jerry Sercer then addressed the commission in regards to building a fence where his property and county landfill adjoin.  He stated he had come to the commission three years ago about this and has agreed to provide either labor or materials for the installation, but no progress has been made. He stated that former Comm. Tyndal had told him it would be done, “ya’ll agreed to it.”  County manager Ball stated she could not find anything in the minutes. Chairman Keene stated,  “when Tracy Tyndal was Chairman when we first came in, he did a lot of stuff on his own that we were not aware of. But we will discuss the matter and see what best course is for the county and you.”  Mr. Sercer stated the county rec department removing the dirt on the property is causing erosion to his. He then presented a second issue which is sewage/overrun from the sediment pond flowing onto his property causing damage and it need to be fixed. Comm. Huck Greene then interjected and said he felt the commission needed to consult with County Attorney Toni Sawyer on the matter.

Mr. Sercer responded,  “you can consult who ever you want, but if I don’t get action and soon I have no problem contacting the EPA.”  Mr. Sercer presented pictures of the damage and overflow on his property and also stated the flow from the sediment pond is flowing into his pond which serves his cows and the reason is the pipe in the sediment pond is loose at the bottom causing the problem.

Chairman Keene said, “we will look into matter and do something,” to which Mr. Sercer replied,  “like I said I ain’t got no problem calling the EPA. I know ya’ll ain’t running a cow farm, but I ain’t running a landfill either, the pond needs to drained, dredged, and repaired.”  Chairman Keene stated he and other commissioners along with Adam Dowdy would come and look at property and damage. Mr. Sercer closed with he needed action ASAP.

Middle Georgia EMC requested and commission approved on motion from Comm. Johnson and second by Comm. Reid to grant right of way easements to allow installation of utilities for new school.

Road Closure requests to close “Pintail Lane” and “Doster Road” were tabled on motion by Comm. Reid and second  by Comm. Greene until next meeting.

2017 LMIG bids Everett Construction was $554,798.00 for Harvey Road and Cannonville Road. The funds are in the budget, approved on motion by Comm. Johnson and second Comm. Greene.

2018 LMIG projects were discussed at length with a decision to table until next workshop on June 13, 2017.

Commission Meeting scheduled for July 4, 2017, will be rescheduled to July 11 due to holiday. Comm. Reid gave update on issues with the Ag building. There being no further business meeting was adjourned.