The Appling County Commissioners held their regular meeting on November 2 at the Ag Center at 5:30 p.m. After the invocation and pledge, they recognized the champion Appling County Middle School Ram football team and the champion Ram softball team. “Appling County sports teams have excelled this year and are to be commended,” said Chairman Mike Shumans. He commended the coaches and team for the 239 points scored during the football season. Eighty boys are playing football, of which 40 are eighth graders.

Leslie Burch then addressed the commission, reporting that Wayne Cannady couldn’t be there, and he was speaking on his behalf. He mentioned the 911 signs for mailboxes and asked about the open air open air covered agricultural arena and bleachers that the last referendum called for. The people voted to build and fund them with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). Mike Shumans replied that the Livestock Association had said they didn’t really want them; that’s why they haven’t been built. Burch also reported that he had gone to fight a fire the day before and that Appling County has a great shortage of firefighters. He recommended a look at our recruiting processes and training processes. He says the firefighters are not properly trained. Older firefighters have gone away, and there are none to replace them.

Knicole Lee reported that they have infused over 30 people in a month and no infused person had to be hospitalized. She and her family donated $5,000 toward the 911 signs and said she submitted the project as a part of the USDA grant request. Not having the good signs is a detriment to rural healthcare.

Christmas decorations will cost the same as last year and Mayers’ Florist will be doing them. The commission approved Boatright’s motion. They then discussed holiday pay. County Manager said that they usually give it around Thanksgiving. Last year they got $300.

Commissioner Boatright made a motion to give employees $1,000 this year and Wilkerson seconded, but the motion was defeated when the other three voted against it. Leggett said that would deplete their COVID monies and Edwards made a motion to give $500. His motion was approved with yes votes from Harris, Edwards, and Leggett. Boatright and Wilkerson abstained. It was pointed out that if they don’t use the money, they have to send it back, but Leggett said they could vote again later if that gets to be a problem.

Rozier said it’s time to reappoint a representative for the Heart of Georgia board. Gerry Moore is the current representative and Wilkerson made a motion to reappoint him for another term. Harris wanted to table the motion to have more time to look at the boards since he is new and doesn’t know which boards they are required to appoint people for. The motion was approved to reappoint Moore.

Gene Davis reported for the sheriff’s department. He said Halloween at the Sheriff’s office was safe and everyone had fun. The sheriff has applied for several grants, and they are just now getting into the highway safety grant, which will save the county a good bit of money. Zeal Sharpe retired after 21 years. They are now short-handed. Davis’ guys are doing double duty.

Chris Horton of the road department said they’ve had a good month, but prices went up. They intend to try to mow the shoulders again. They’ve had problems with shortages too. One employee died and another has been out with lots of medical issues. They will start back working on Crosby Chapel Road next week.

Harris asked about trash details and Rozier told him that they didn’t come for a month and a half. Rozier said they are still working on that problem. Horton said they’ll have the information by the next meeting.

There was no Recreation Department report because Wilton McCall was in Columbus for training.

Rozier said he attended a reapportionment meeting, but nothing has happened yet. He said there’s a concert with Niko Moon next weekend in Baxley at the Ag Center. He met with Barbara Reynolds about the Veterans’ Parade next Thursday. Al Meadows spoke about the Veterans’ Day event. He spent 25 years in the army. The parade will start at 10:30 at the police department and end at 11:00 at the courthouse.

After the executive session, Rozier recommended Joel McKinney and Thomas Rainey for the road department and a transfer for Robert Eunice from the sheriff’s department to the Landfill. The approval was unanimous.