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Dooly County gets $700K in COVID relief

By Sharon McGahee

Dispatch Correspondent

The Dooly County Board of Commissioners got word that some much-needed revenue would be coming. A letter from Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said the county and its municipalities could receive as much as $700,935 in coronavirus relief funds.

The letter outlined financial resources to be allocated to state and local governments from the US Treasury through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress on March 27.

Title V of the CARES Act created the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) which provides Georgia $4.1 billion for virus-related expenses. Forty-five percent or approximately $1.8 billon is slated for transfer to local governments. The plan for disbursement, managed by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and the State Accounting Office, calls for Byromville to receive $726,174; Dooling, $7,119; Lilly, $10,312; Pinehurst, $18,583; Unadilla, $184,526; Vienna $185,782; and unincorporated Dooly County, $268,439. The remaining 70 percent of the $1.23 billon will be “available on a reimbursement basis”.  Funds that are not used must be returned to the treasury.

The Georgia Senate passed SB-111, which provides that the judge of the Probate Court of Dooly County shall also serve as the chief of the Magistrate Court. The commission approved Probate Judge Rooney Bowen to assume the role of both probate and magistrate judge as of January 1, 2021. William A. Willis, the current magistrate, will retire on January 1.

The enactment further states that there shall be no election or appointment in 2020 or thereafter for the office of chief magistrate judge and the term of the office shall be commensurate with the term of the probate judge. Bowen and Willis will work together to blend the magistrate’s office with the probate office.

. The commission scheduled a July 9 workshop to review and address the county building codes guidelines and cost Georgia law requires any structure built in the state comply with mandatory codes; however, it further states since Georgia law “gives the enumerate codes statewide applicability local governments may; “under certain conditions, adopt amendments to the state minimum standards, either by ordinance or resolution and submit the proposed amendment to DCA.”

It further states that “the power to adopt these should include administrative procedural provisions and requirements for the enforcement of codes, provisions for hearings, for appeals and any other procedure necessary for administration and enforcement.”

The workshop will examine county construction code policies and costs to make it more compatible with construction in a rural county.

In other business, the commission:

  Heard an update in the status of COVID-19 cases

  Approved finance documents to purchase equipment for the Public Works Department

  Heard a proposal for repairs to the Justice Center roof

  Heard a proposal to upgrade the fire alarm system at the Justice Center

The Dooly County Board of Commissioners will meet on Thursday, July 16 at 9 am at the commission office.