County Commission Meeting June 13, 2024

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, June 13, 2024

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By Sarah Brown  – Managing Editor

Crisp County board of Commission met on June 13, 2024 at 9 am at the Crisp County Government Center. Chairman James R. Dowdy, III called the meeting to order welcoming everyone. Sheriff Billy Hancock 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 citizen request to address the board regarding road conditions on Lilliston Road in Arabi. Doris Johnson came before the commissioners to address her concerns on this matter; the road gets a significant amount of water from I-75 when it rains which makes it dangerous to travel across the road. County Administrator, Clark Harrell said that he had visited the property and it does need some maintenance. The commissioners said that they would look further into this issue and get maintenance out there to fix the road.

We then heard from Sheriff Billy Hancock with the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office report. Their number of citations have gone up due to building back up from 2020 when they were not fully staffed due to Covid. The school system had reached out and they are looking to add another school resource officer into one of the schools.

A major point that Sheriff spoke on was regarding the city of Arabi creating a Police Department, as of July 1, 2024 the Sheriff’s Department will no longer have a deputy assigned to that area. However, it will become a zone that they still patrol and maintain as needed. Another item that was addressed to the Sheriff from City Administrator, Clark Harrell was the inmate housing fee that the City of Cordele pays for inmates held, which is currently $35/day but with plans to increase to $42/day. This will further be discussed with between Clark Harrell and City Manager, Angela Redding.

Clark Harrell brought forward new business for the commissioners to address;

  1. Airport Maintenance Hanger Construction contract. This contract is cover my 95% of grants with the remaining paid fro SPLOST. This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
  2. FY25 Drug Court J25-8-016 – This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
  3. Inmate Housing Fee – This item was addressed above with the Sheriff.
  4. Ordinance 2024-004 to rezone rural residential to general commercial. This is regarding land that is owned by Steve Southwell owner of Smoakies. The plan is to rezone the land to commercial for him to sell his barbecue in a food truck on the property. This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.

We then heard a financial update regarding budget and general financials within the county from Sherrie Leverett. Following we heard County Administrators report from Clark Harrell to which he mentions that they have spent a lot of time working on the budget, as well as continuing his work with workforce housing through the PROPEL project.

It was also brought to our attention that a large reason for the lack of expansion and building in certain areas of Crisp County is due to the lack of sewage lines running through areas such as the 97 exit and the 104 exit. This is something that they hope to work on in the future through federal, state and grant funding as they do not want this done through tax payers money.

The adjourned for executive session, following they had a work session that consisted of a budget work session, and planning and zoning fee discussion.