On June 8, the Appling County Commissioners met at the Courthouse Annex at 5:30 p.m. After the pledge and the invocation, Chairman Mike Shumans introduced the new clerk, Robyn Evans, and then asked the board to approve the minutes for the May 3 and May 10 meetings, which they did unanimously.
He then turned the meeting over to Appling County Recreation Manager Wilton McCall to present the state recreation track winners from the Jefferson State Track Meet. Thirty-four groups participated and Appling came in 9th overall. Appling had 19 qualified to go to the state meet. From those 19, several won first or second places.
Under New business, Shumans announced that they had to submit three names per seat for positions on the Appling Healthcare Board. Daryl Edwards gave the name of Paul Rentz and said Rentz had agreed to serve again. Sarah Boatright nominated Knicole Lee.
Doug Harris said the Hospital Authority didn’t notify them in a timely manner, and he made a motion to table the matter until the next meeting. Shumans pointed out that the commissioners are scheduled to meet with the hospital authority on July 16. All commissioners voted to table until the July meeting.
Mrs. Russell resigned from the Tax Assessor Board, and Commissioner Theodore Wilkerson nominated Larry Rayner to replace her. All approved.
Gene Davis then spoke for the absent sheriff about the full body scanner system that the sheriff is asking for. Davis said this piece of equipment is most important in detention centers because sometimes people come in with objects where they don’t belong. The machine can find them when the staff cannot. They went to Wayne County and watched a demonstration of it. It can save lives and avoid serious litigation. The last thing they want is for someone to die in their care. They cannot do cavity searches on people who come in. it takes temperature as well. It’s a sophisticated piece of equipment and is target specific. The machine can tell them if someone needs to go straight to the emergency room. The price includes training. Davis will get them a formal quote; the machine is expensive but worth it. The commissioners asked that the company come and demonstrate the machine for them before they vote on it. Money will come from CARES funds. They tabled this item until the next meeting.
Marsha Thomas, Clerk of Court, then asked the commissioners to update the Historical index in the clerk’s office with Cares money. They can come in and scan all the way back to 1908 when they first started keeping records in Appling County. It would cut down on traffic in the office and protect the old ledgers from too much usage. The searcher would pay in advance and could then search for his information on the internet right on his home computer. Some of the books need to be rebound. They have already scanned back as far as 1983 but need to go all the way back. The total cost would be $174,000 to go all the way back to 1907. The board approved.
A firetruck proposal of $30,000.00 came from the budgeted price, but since the budget was made, the price went up to $48,000. They approved using the budgeted money and supplementing from CARES funds. This one will go to the County Farm District. This is a used truck. Chief Johnson went and looked it over. It’s a box style and is located in Valdosta. They approved the purchase.
Shumans then announced a change in the job description for county manager and County Lawyer Tracy Alan Brown read the documentation to the audience. They said that title of county manager has been used since 1981 and will continue to be used in conjunction with county administrator, who will still serve at the pleasure of the board. Both county administrator and county manager refer to the same position.
Essential Job duties include the following:
* Develops policies and procedures relative to all County operations subject to Board approval.
* Provides written and verbal communications to all County operations regarding County policies and procedures changes.
* Review departmental budgets, compiles all budget requests, and prepares annual budget for Board review and approval.
* Keep the board of commissioners fully advised as to County financial condition and needs.
* Oversees expenditures of County monies as the Chief purchasing Agent for the county and insures adherence to the approved county budget subject to board approval.
* Serves as the county’s personnel director and EEO Officer and oversees all county personnel matters subject to Board approval (including the appointment of all department heads with the approval of the board of commissioners; appoint and removal subordinate officers and employees in all departments with approval of the board of commissioners.”
* Attends all board meetings and express administrative concerns and recommendations related to county matters but shall have no vote.
* Coordinates and oversees all county construction projects subject to board approval
* Negotiates leases, contracts and legal agreements and ensures all provisions are met.
* To see that all laws, county codes, and ordinances are enforced.
Other duties include serving as an official county representative in all public meetings, conferences, workshops, etc., when directed to do so; prepares and distributes all news releases and public notices; conducts meetings with all constitutional officers and department supervisors to discuss specific problems, concerns, short/long term goals and objectives for the county; and prepares special studies and reports for the board.
Shumans commented that the board has worked long and hard on this job description.
Next, Shumans said that they would consider Item G even though it was not on the agenda. It is the timber quote. They asked for quotes several months ago. Shumans, Leggett, Edwards, and Deal met on Monday and opened the bids as they should be handled. They received only three bids, but of those three, only one was in the proper format. It was the bid from Murray Forestry for the amount of $951,191.00. Murray bid a lump sum, but the others did not. Shumans said some of the timber is virgin timber which is harder to get rid of and needs to be clearcut. They will replant once it’s cleared. Timber prices are up now. Harris asked that they consult with the forestry agency to find out what they should plant back. Murray needs two years to get the timber out; enough of the payment will be used to replant the area. The board approved unanimously. The other bidders who did not qualify were Beach Timber of Alma and Timberland Products of Fitzgerald.
Next, Gene Davis reported for the sheriff in his absence. He said plans are in the works for extensive training to deal with an active shooter at the schools. In July, Appling County agents and Wayne County agents will all take a 16-hour course led by the federal law enforcement Center in Brunswick. He pointed out that we have resource officers at every one of our seven schools, which is more than some counties have. The sheriff’s department works in conjunction with the school board.
Wilton McCall reported for recreation. They have 122 children on the swim team this year, which is up from 88 last year. The tennis courts at the city gym and the northside park are in bad shape. They are cracked and need to be resurfaced.
He said he talked to the contractor for the new pool last week and he is waiting for pieces to come in. the pool should be ready to open the second week in July.
Brooks Johnson said Craven Road is now resurfaced. Rock and aggregate materials are hard to get now. They are starting to make some closures on Crosby Chapel Road. They’ll have to close Pat Lewis Road for repairs to pipes soon, but they are waiting for a shipment. They have some flood issues there. A bridge closure on Lake Chapel Road at Coleman Creek is coming and will have a long-term impact. That bridge must be rebuilt. They had a motor grader down, but it has been repaired and is back in service.
Commissioner Boatright asked when they would work on the budget and was told that Deal would find a date for a called meeting, and they’d start soon.
The commissioners have been invited to meet with the hospital authority on June 16 at the Sleep Inn Conference room at 5:30 p.m.
Deal said that he has someone coming to investigate the problems at the northside pool. Senator Blake Tillery has provided $50,000 to do an evaluation and see if it’s repairable. A man is coming with ground penetrating radar to check the line. They think it’s the valve in the bottom of the pool that’s leaking. The city helped pump it out. They’ll see what’s right and what’s wrong about the pool before deciding what to do next. He said he suspected that one man who said it couldn’t be repaired was influenced by the fact that there’s more money in building a pool than in repairing one.
They are working a project with Commissioners Daryl Edwards to put a fishing dock at Carter’s Bight. There are currently none in Appling County. They are working on some funding from the DNR. It’s a start anyway. Deen’s Landing is another good spot for a dock. Funds are available through the state, and they are trying to twist some arms.
There being no further comments, the meeting was adjourned.
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