The Board of Commissioners met on Monday, August 2 in the Government Services Center.
According to Chairman Charlie Newton the curbside service agenda item was to inform the public that he and David Crawley, county manager, the questions all as a part of one document and post them on the county website, and an email will be sent out with those responses.
“We’re going to answer them all as a part of one document,” Newton said. “Then submit it back to everybody that has submitted questions to our email.”
The public hearing on curbside service is still set for August 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Depot.
Next, the board discussed the one day alcohol permit for Blind Willie Festival. According to Crawley, this is the one day alcohol permit for the Blind Willie Festival that happens each year, with the exception of last year.
The board talked about the appointment of Jim Wilson to the Land Bank Authority. Crawley said the land bank met last week, and there has to be a five member board, according to the new guidelines, and one of the names that was suggested was Jim Wilson. Wilson has indicated that he would be willing to serve on the land bank board.
The board discussed the renovation projects. According to Crawley, the health department offices and DFCS building have been going through renovation, and that is trying to be finalized with a few more things needing to be done. Crawley said the health department was temporarily in the mental health building, and now the health department has moved back.
“We’re ready to start renovating a portion of the mental health building,” Crawley said. “For the public defender’s office because the building they’re in now needs to come down.”
According to Crawley, the pricing for that would be roughly $30,000 for paint, flooring, and lighting for that portion of the building.
Next, the board discussed the demolition of the old state patrol/health department/peace core building. Crawley said the building has been up for a while, and it’s been somewhat of an issue.
“We’re waiting until the land bank got reestablished and able to deal with the property once we turn it over to them,” Crawley said.
Crawley said he would like to move forward with demo of the structure and cleaning the lot.
The board talked about the fire fee. According to Crawley, there has been a lot of discussion about this topic. There were two options mentioned. The first option was the land use with risk, which is the flat fee calculation, according to Crawley. The second option was the structure size rate schedule. Crawley then read off more information about the fire fee.
“Single family residential structure, three cent per square foot per year, and minimum rate of $27,” Crawley said. “Non-single residential structure, three cent per square foot, per year, with a minimum rate of $180, and parcel would be $2.84 per acre, per year.”
Gloria Thompson, commissioner, thinks more research should be done.
“I think that we need to do some more research on the industrial and commercial cost and look at for residential of flat fee,” Thompson said.
Newton said that you can’t adjust the residential fee unless you adjust the industrial and commercial fees as well. After hearing more information, Thompson stated that she still thinks it should not be based on square footage. According to Thompson, she thinks there should be a cap when dealing with square feet.
“There were 238 residential fire responses in 2020, and 76 percent of those calls were houses 2,000 square feet or less,” Thompson said. “So, if we look at a fee based on size, it needs to have a cap at 2,000 square feet.”
Newton said the fire fee won’t be set in stone, and they’d look at the industrial, commercial, and hopefully get more accurate.
The board discussed the FY22 budget. According to Crawley, the budget process was sped up some this year, and got preliminary numbers for the board to look at. Thompson asked about the curbside service and whether or not waste management was involved.
“We are not talking or discussing anything with waste management,” Crawley said.
Crawley said if anything was going to be done county-wide, that the city would be included so that they could get the best rate possible.