Crisp County Commission Meeting September 12, 2023

Published 1:23 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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Crisp County board of Commission met on September 12, 2023 at 9 am at the Crisp County Government Center. Chairman James R. Dowdy, III called the meeting to order welcoming everyone. Rick Smarr gave the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Clark Harrell. The agenda was adopted and the board approved last meetings minute. The meeting started with an update from Sheriff Billy Hancock on what is going on at the Sheriff’s department. He said that they are still busy; he spoke on the death of Wilcox Sheriff, Robert Rodgers in an automobile accident. They have also been working on their peer structure groups, those who have been on shift during the traumatic events that have occurred over the past few months were sent to a conference with other officers who have been through similar situations. Hancock says that he has seen a change in the agency with many coming together on weekends, which he is glad to see that they are able to speak with each other and work through things together. He also speaks about the prison and that they are currently over capacity with 224 beds and 232 inmates. This month they have had up to as many as 242 inmates in the prison. They are currently working on building a fire range, which is said to be ready in 6 months to a year. This firing range is being built to help with training officers. Transported over 9000 miles, which includes 131 prisoners with a total of 232 man-hours. They travelled over 99000 miles at 33 cents a mile. There were over 6000 calls to 911 and 70 animal calls. They then went into guest speakers; Joel Owens spoke again in regards to the Crisp County Fire Department wages in which the commission went into executive session after the meeting to come up with a resolution for this problem. The commission decided to raise the starting wage to $16.75 from the $13.80 it was prior.

There were two public hearings with the first on being from Sheila Knight who is looking to rezone an acre of land from residential to commercial for an office building. A decision was not made on this as of yet, it will need to come forward to the commission one more time for them to vote. The second public hearing was Ed & Beth Collier who are looking to close in their carport to create a private recreation facility. This was motioned, second and approved by the commission.

County Administrator Clark Harrell went through the new business, first item was GIS Planning & Zoning Contract which was combined with the second item City Reporter Software – Planning and Zoning. These items were put forward to the commission and were motioned, second and approved. Item three was the Resolution 2023-017 5311 program in regards to fling of an application with the department of transportation United States of America and Georgia Department of Transportation for a grant. This was motioned, second and approved. Item four was the Resolution 2023-018 Tax millage, which was decided after the executive session due to the increase in wages for the Fire Department. County millage rate for non-duplicate services necessary without consideration of joint sales & use tax 0.013917. County Millage rate, which, if levied, would produce an amount equal to the joint sales & use tax received during the preceding year 0.003490. County millage rate is 0.010427. Total County Millage Rate is 0.010427. Unincorporated district special service millage rate 0.002300. School system millage rate 0.014349.

The final items was the Resolution 2023-019 to establish a second board of equalization, this has been requested by the Clerk of Court on a yearly basis. This was motioned, second and approved.

We then heard from the Finance Director Sherrie Leverett who spoke briefly on the current financial report. She went over that there are loans that they have given out from Government funding and there are some issues that were brought up by the commissioners in regards to this as these loans are not available to everyone and have lots of requirements and restrictions. They discussed wanting to get out of the “Loan Business”. We lastly heard from County Administrator Clark Harrell who went over the firing range that is on going, as the railway project in Arabi is ongoing as well and curb and gutter improvements in Metal Park subdivision. Last meeting the commission passed a retirement benefit package that the employees of the county have taken advantage of and appreciated. There is a Public Safety Dinner at the Lions Club on Thursday at 6:00pm. Lastly, DOT has a grant that the commission would like to submit an application for. This grant is for over $660,000 which they plan to use on Williford Crossing from 280 to the Wilcox and Dooly line. This was motioned, second and approved.