2017-09-13 / Front Page

City raising tax millage

The Blakely City Council adopted a resolution at their Sept. 5 meeting increasing the city’s ad valorem tax from 3.25 mills to 4.25 mills.

The resolution also calls for three mandatory hearings (see notice in this week’s News) and a special meeting to adopt the millage.

Mayor Anthony Howard told the News the millage increase is necessary because of a recently discovered miscalculation of Early County’s Title Ad Valorem Tax on vehicles. The miscalculation has resulted in an overpayment of over $500,000 of the TAVT to the city since the tax was implemented by the state in 2013. The TAVT also produces revenues for the county and school board.

Noting previous discussions, City attorney Tommy Coleman presented the council an opinion on the Public Safety agreement between the city, county and sheriff.

“It is my opinion that the intergovernmental contract for law enforcement cooperation that the City, County, and Sheriff's Department has operated under for a number of years is inconsistent with statutory scheme provided by O.C.G.A. §15-16-13 governing contracts for law enforcement services by sheriff's to municipalities. Should the City or county be subject to a legal challenge regarding this contract, the outcome is unpredictable.”

The opinion required no action from the city, but comes at a time when the city, county and sheriff are considering adoption of an agreement extend- ing the Department of Public Safety.

The city heard a complaint from Buddy Lucus over billing for his Blakely Net service.

Ebony Freeman appeared before the council to discuss the lack of emergency housing in Blakely, referencing six families who lost their homes in a June 6 fire.

Wayne Goocher Jr. appeared before the council on behalf of several peanut growers/haulers seeking consideration of allowing access to Birdsong buying point via Arlington Street.

The council approved a rezoning request from Greg Conner for the rezoning of the Exie Perkins property adjacent to Conner Insurance on Columbia Road from R-1 to Commercial.

The council denied a business license request from George White for White’s Garage on Highway 39 north at the former location of Turnage Tractor Supply.

The council accepted a bid for sanitary Sewer Improvements in the amount of $480,735 from Blankenship Contracting. Only one other bid was submitted — $707,299 from Popco, Inc.

The council approved the sale of two Public Safety 2010 Ford Crown Victorias at auction.

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