Chase Beggs, Planning and Zoning Director discusses the new subdivision with the board.

The Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, July 20 in the Government Services Center.

About 100 people were in attendance and a public input time for concerns with the proposed trash collection service was postponed until Aug. 12. There were a few items discussed during the public hearing.

Chase Beggs, Planning and Zoning Director discussed the request the deannexation from the City of Thomson and rezone on Mesena Road. Beggs said it would be tricky trying to build in this area because it would’ve been half city and half county. According to Beggs, the request from the Planning Board was to rezone that area to R-2.

The next item for the public hearing was the request for subdivision, Bent Creek Village, on the Thomson East Bypass. According to Beggs, the tract is roughly 28.8 acres along the bypass between Cobbham Road and Washington Road. The developer wants the subdivision to include 102 lots.

“Our ordinances do not have a zoning code that meets that,” Beggs said. “So they’re requesting a variance to those lot sizes and setbacks. The subdivision would have paved roads, concrete curb, gutters, sidewalks, and decorative street lighting as our ordinance requires.”

Beggs said this area is considered to be high density residential, according to the land uses that the county has designated for this area. Next, the board went into the new business for this meeting. The board talked about the consideration to approve the public hearing concerning solid waste is scheduled for Aug. 12.

With City Council also holding a meeting on Aug. 12, the public hearing regarding public waste has been moved to the Depot at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Peggy Lovejoy, an area resident who is outspoken and against the county charging property owners for garbage collection, said a petition has 250 signatures that is against the plan for garbage collection in the county. She added, with the meeting being delayed until Aug. 12, which was scheduled by Chairman Charlie Newton, this allows for the petition to get additional signatures. Lovejoy challenged Newton at last Tuesday’s meeting about the Aug. 12 meeting.

“I went up front and I asked to address the commissioners,” Lovejoy said. “I told Charlie that during the fire station consolidation we had a lot of people turn out and they put it off until another meeting. And, then they had an informational meeting and passed it and came back and told us what they had done. I wanted Charlie’s assurance that this would not happen this time.”

Lovejoy said that Newton confirmed the meeting for Aug. 12, and it will further be discussed then.

The board discussed the request for deannexation and rezoning for Mesena Road. The board voted to uphold the Planning Boards approval. Next, the board talked about the consideration to approve the resolution 21-07; Deannex from City of Thomson on Mesena Road. The board voted to approve the resolution 21-07.

The board voted to uphold the Planning Boards decision to approve the subdivision, Bent Creek Village, on Thomson East Bypass. Commissioner Gloria Thompson had one concern regarding the subdivision and that was the Dallas Drive entry/exit. Thompson said her main concern is the possible traffic load around that entry/exit.

“I’m worried about only being able to get in one way, and go out one way,” Thompson said.

Thompson changed her motion to uphold the Planning Boards decision, while also taking it into consideration that the quality of the neighborhood is similar to Robin’s Landing in Grovetown.

Next, the board discussed the request to increase the poll worker’s salaries. According to David Crawley, County manager, some recommendations were made for poll workers to receive an increase in pay by Phyllis Brooks, Elections Director. The increases included the voting manager getting an increase from $100 to $120, the assistant manager going from $90 to $110, pole pad scanner and line management going from $75 to $95, the general clerk going from $70 to $90.

On election day, the manager would go from $280 to $300, the assistant manager going from $225 to $245, pole pad scanner and line management going from $185 to $205, the general clerk would go from $145 to $165. The board voted to approve the poll worker increases.

The board discussed the ordinance amendment 21-03; Special Lighting District fees. According to Crawley, the fees come from Georgia Power and Jefferson Electric, and cover July 1 from last year all the way up until June 30 of this year. Pam Workman, Finance Director, takes the numbers and divides them out by the number of lots, according to Crawley. The board voted to approve this item.

The board talked about the MOU with UGA Extension. According to Workman, one employee was being paid directly to UGA, and two employees were being paid through the payroll in the county.

“We thought that it would be easier if we just paid UGA for all of those,” Workman said. “So, what we did was we amended the MOU to include, so it’s a total of three workers now, instead of just one.”

Workman said the only difference is when UGA gives them an evaluation, they get an increase of roughly $1,500 to $2,000. The board voted to approve the MOU with UGA Extension.

According to Newton, the water sewer commission met to discuss upcoming projects. Newton said a bid was put out to add emergency bypass pumps and do the plumbing on some of the lift stations.

“We originally thought it would cost us about $350,000 to get all of the lift stations done,” Newton said. “We put bids out, there were three bids, and all of them were fairly close.”

According to Newton, the low bid came in from Beam Site Prep at $517,674.60. The board voted to approve this item. Newton said screw presses were put in at the sewer treatment facility by a company called Vortec, and they haven’t lived up to their contract.

“The cost to replace those screw presses at our wastewater treatment facility is $585,000,” Newton said.

PW Tech has come in and done additional pilot tests, and their equipment performs beyond the specifications that were put in place, according to Newton. The board voted to approve this item.