2017-11-08 / Front Page

Board targets old oaks

The Early County Board of Commissioners voted to take down three oak trees on Court Square at Monday night’s meeting.

Of the 11 oak trees located on Court Square, the commissioners deem these three older trees to pose a threat to cause damage should they be toppled by storm winds.

County attorney Bill Mills told the board that a joint resolution was being drafted which releases the county from all obligations with SGRITA. Commission chair June Merritt noted that the county’s obligation for the SGRITA loan with People’s Bank ($149,000) had been paid in full.

Early was one of six counties which had underwritten a $1.3 million SGRITA loan with the bank.

Mills also reported that he was working on a time table to implement a special election to conduct a TSPLOST referendum during the 2018 election cycle.

The commissioners accepted a $139,750 bid for rightof way mowing from Joiner Contracting of Hahira, Ga. The contract provides for the mowing of the county’s 250 miles of right-of-way four times per year. The contract is renewable up to three years. Two additional bids of $220,000 and $450,000 were received.

The board adopted a resolution authorizing the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission to apply for GDOT Rural Transit 5311 funds to provide rural public transportation.

The board voted to utilize cancer benefit coverage provided through ACCG for over 80 volunteer county fire- fighters. Legislation passed by the 2017 General Assembly mandates the coverage be provided as of Jan. 1, 2018.

The estimated annual premium for the two required benefit components — Lump Sum Cancer Benefit and Long Term Disability — is $9,436.

The board approved the renewal of three alcoholic beverage licenses, including White Oak Pastures, Riverside Travel Center and Bo James BBQ.

The board adopted a resolution appointing Administrator Spencer Mueller to serve as the county’s “Legislative Coordinator,” replacing Chairperson June Merritt.

“Whenever the ACCG contacts me I always turn to Spencer for the information they need,” Merritt noted.

The commissioners reviewed a number of board appointments that must be made at the December board meeting. During public comments, they heard a request by Al Hutchins that the various boards schedule their meeting at 6 p.m. instead of during working hours to allow working citizens the opportunity to attend.

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