2017-08-17 / Front Page

County accepts bids for paving of Broad, Big Cedar

The Wilkes County Board of Commissioners adopted a revised version of the county’s drug policy, awarded contracts for the resurfacing of two roads, and heard various reports from around the county at its most recent regular meeting last Thursday, August 10.

Of special note was Chairman Sam Moore’s announcement that the new 911 Center is expected to be completed next month. The new facility will house all of the county’s 911 emergency call operations and is located at the back of the Cecil A. Moore Law Enforcement Center on Andrew Drive.

“The construction detail has been gone for a few weeks already but we’ve been working some things out concerning the new equipment,” Moore reported. “When Motorola gets everything switched over, we should be ready to open.”

Over the past several years, the Georgia Department of Corrections has worked with the county providing inmate labor on construction and work details at no cost to the county. Such a detail, with its skilled workers, built the new 911 Center as well as a number of other buildings and facilities in the county.

“We saved a lot of money using that construction detail to build it and that will allow us to have more money to spend somewhere else,” Moore added. Commissioner Ed Geddings said use of the detail has saved the county as much as $1.5 million and Moore echoed, “millions.”

“They did a good job and we want to thank the Department of Corrections because we have many, many things – from Athens Tech to concession stands to all kinds of things ,” Moore continued. “We really appreciate everything we have gotten from the Department of Corrections and we hope the deal with the Department of Juvenile Justice will be just as rewarding.”

He was referring to the Regional Youth Detention Center on which construction will be complete next month with a grand opening and open house to be held in December. “It looks like a lot of things are coming together for us,” Moore said.

Acknowledging that even though a lot of money was saved using the construction detail on the 911 Center, Building Inspector Jimmy Toto said, “no corners were cut on building that building. I know what building in Wilkes County I’m going to run to if we have any bad weather or a tornado. You can believe you have a really good building.”

The LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) projects for Wilkes County in 2018 include a 3.89-mile section of Broad Road beginning at Georgia Highway 17 and ending at Pope Chapel Road, and a 2.87-mile section of Big Cedar Road from Georgia Highway 80 to the bridge over Rocky Creek.

Bids were opened at 10 a.m. last Thursday, August 10, and commissioners voted to award the paving contract for Broad Road to low bidder C&H Paving for $459,359.06. Other bids ranged upward to $539,090.20. For Big Cedar Road, Reeves Construction got the contract with the low bid of $316,122.75 while other bids ranged up to $377,236.40.

The rest of Big Cedar Road, from the bridge to Georgia Highway 17, will be delayed until after the expansion construction on Highway 17 is complete.

All of the commissioners were in attendance at the meeting including Esper Lee, Charles Jackson, Clem Slaton, Geddings, and Moore. Also in attendance were County Clerk Karen Burton, County Attorney Charles LeGette, Wilkes County EMA Director Blake Thompson, and a few visitors.

In other business:

Thompson reported that his department has been busy and that his staff is several employees short at the present time. He is working on finding more staff members and said he has three who are going to start paramedic school later this month. “I hope to have all of them certified by next June,” he said.

While Thompson said that he is running two trucks around the clock and has another on call, he expects a new truck to be put into service within 10 days, and an older truck which is being remounted to be in service within about 90 days.

Commissioners adopted a simplified version of its drug policy in keeping with the state’s policy.

Burton reported that Local Option Sales Tax received for the month of June 2017 amounted to $57,744.38 and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was $88,837.66, while TSPLOST was $85,371.70. She noted that this was the last of the funds to be expected from the “old” sales tax.

Moore announced that Marshall Sherrer would be recognized the next day upon his retirement from the Wilkes County Health Department board after 35 years of service. He also noted that Sherrer served on the Board of Commissioners for “longer than that.”

Burton reported that Dann Standard is continuing to work on updating the county’s website to include minutes from meetings and other documentation. For minutes, she said, interested citizens can access the county’s meeting minutes from 1898 until the present at https:// www.mccinnovations.com/weblink. “Go to Online Library – MCCI; scroll to the bottom of the page and select State, then County,” she said.

The next regular meeting of the board of commissioners will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 14, in the Wilkes County courthouse with a work session immediately prior in the chairman’s office beginning at 5 p.m.

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