2014-05-15 / Front Page

County’s updated comprehensive plan gets one visitor at commission meeting

By SPARKY NEWSOME
editor

No one showed up for the hearing on the Wilkes County Comprehensive Plan held at the beginning of the commissioners meeting last Thursday but Chairman Sam Moore outlined the purpose of the document and explained that it is a requirement of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

“The Comprehensive Plan establishes land use and development policies for the next 10 years,” Moore said, “and shakes out things we do, how we fund them, and what our plans are in different areas.” He explained that the plan, which covers the county and its three municipalities, was prepared by the Regional Commission.

Because of some rule changes by the Department of Community Affairs, the plan was produced earlier than usual and Moore said that there were only a few changes since the last such plan was generated.

There were no questions from the floor and the hearing was closed after just a few minutes. When a woman showed up saying she had trouble finding the meeting, it was unclear whether she had wanted to attend the hearing, so Moore reopened the hearing in order to address any questions she might have had. She expressed concerns over the meeting locale and the lack of attendance but had no questions pertaining to the Comprehensive Plan so the hearing was closed once again and the regular meeting proceeded.

Commissioners Divenski Lee, Ed Geddings, Kerry McAvoy, Clem Slaton, and Moore were all present at the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners held last Thursday, May 8, at 6 p.m. in the Wilkes County courthouse. Also in attendance were County Administrator David Tyler, County Attorney Charles LeGette, County Clerk Karen Burton, two members of the local press, a sheriff’s deputy, and the aforementioned unidentified woman.

LeGette had no legal matters to present to the board but he used his time to announce that the United State Supreme Court has approved prayer in public meetings.

“We’ve been doing that for a long time,” LeGette said, “but for the longest time, under previous court decicions, we weren’t supposed to do that. But this current Supreme Court has finally come full circle and said it’s all right. So now we’re in constitutional compliance for the first time in quite a while ... we had to wait for them to come back to us.”

In other business:

. Tyler reported that Local Option Sales Tax for the month of March has been received in the amount of $54,849.45, and that for the same month Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was $84,384.01 and TSPLOST was $72,307.72.

. Moore reported that contract letting for renovations to the main hallway in the courthouse will be held on Thursday, May 22, at 2 p.m. The renovations are Phase III in the plan provided in the current SPLOST and include repairs and upgrades to the ceiling, wainscoting, and other things.

. Moore announced that all-day budget meetings for the commissioners will begin on Wednesday, May 28, and continue on Monday, June 2, in the chairman’s office.

The next regular meeting of the commissioners will be held on Thursday, June 12, at 2 p.m. in the Wilkes County courthouse with a work session immediately prior in the chairman’s office beginning at 1 p.m.

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