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Wilcox Commission approves playground equipment for recreation field

By Lucas C. Allison – Wilcox County Correspondent

The Wilcox Board of Commissioners held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday May 5th in the courtroom to allow for COVID19 precautions to be taken.

Wilcox EMA Director Larry Brown reported that currently Wilcox County had 90 COVID19 cases and 10 COVID19 deaths in the county, he further stated that 80 of the 90 cases and 8 of the 10 deaths were in two nursing facilities in Wilcox and that those facilities together had 52 patients cases and 28 staff test positive. It is still sobering to have those type statistics in our area, he also gave a report on the recent COVID19 testing that was done in Wilcox.

County Coroner Janice reported she handled three cases the past month only one was COVID19 related and she handled that case by it requested she handle it.

Under new business the Public Defenders Budget request for FY2021 was tabled until the State releases its budget after it reconvenes. It was noted December 2019 the budget was increased from $11,118.00 to $,26,209.00, the current requested amount is $29,143.00.

There were two resignations from the Board of Elections Don Roberts the current Chairman of the Board and member Gene Tomberlin. Chairman Lanier Keene reported that an ad had been run in the Cordele Dispatch requesting that anyone wishing to serve on the Board of Elections to contact their commissioner or the commissioner’s office. It was noted that there had been complaints that the Board was heavy with representatives from Abbeville, so if you live in the other districts please apply and be willing to serve. Board members receive $65 for each meeting attended and the Chairman receives $85 per meeting. The Commission elects the board chair.

The County Attorney advised they needed to have the Board members appointed before the June 9th election as that will be a busy day when problems occur, and you need people in place to handle those problems if any arise. She also noted new members must be trained and certified within 12 months of appointment. A person wishing to serve must be a resident of Wilcox for 1 year and cannot hold any elected office in the county. A meeting was scheduled with the Board of Elections and Commissioners on Tuesday May 12th at 5pm.

Wilcox Recreation Director Michael Pomirko reported to commissioners that they were the recipients of Burke Play 20 Grant of $26,489.00 discount off the purchase of a new Burke playground structure. Mr. Pomirko stated he wished to utilize the grant and purchase equipment to be placed between the ballfields so when kids are not in games they can have something else to play on and occupy their time and that he feels it would increase usage of the recreation facilities. To receive the discount the order must be placed before November 13, 2020. Mr. Pomirko then presented a funding breakdown of how the county could purchase the equipment and not put a strain on the county. He stated the equipment could accommodate up to 102 kids at one time. The total cost to the county would be $36,682.00 after the $26,489.00 discount, the proposed funding would be broken down as follows: $10,000.00 from Recreation budget, $18,500.00 from SPLOST, $1500.00 from other budgets, $3500.00 from other grants and $3182.00 from donations . The Board of Commissioners approved for Mr. Pomirko to proceed with the purchase. All equipment is ADA compliant. Mr. Pomirko stated that if any citizens or civic groups would like to donate toward the playground purchase just contact his office.

The Board then voted to enter Executive Session to discuss personnel matters, after reconvening into the regular meeting Chairman Keene reported no actions were taken.

County Manager Paula Jones Ball gave several updates, she reported the USDA Grant applications were proceeding she provided some clarification to USDA Tuesday on the Rescue Truck chassis and why it was needed. She also reported the Security System for entry into the courthouse which were approved began installation Tuesday, also the HVAC approved for FSA building was being installed.

The Board decided to leave the courthouse closed to the public until June 15th, noting however if you must come to courthouse for business call first and they will accommodate to meet your needs as feasibly possible. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned. The Commissioners meet the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm in the Commissioners office in the courthouse.