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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
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March 6, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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March 6, 2019
 

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Page 4B March 6, 2019 R Orter By Richard Dumas forsyfh@mymcr.nef Monroe County Com- missioners will allow county department heads to spend up to $2,500 without commissioners' approval as part of an updated county purchas- ing policy. At the recommendation of county manager Jim Hedges, commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to revise the county's purchasing policy, first established in 1991, to allow county de-, partment heads to spend up to $2,500 without commissioners' approval. Other updates include: to allow the county's pur- chasing agent to authorize purchases up to $5,000 without commissioners' approval and without re- quiring competitive bids, to allow the county's pur- chasing agent to authorize purchases between $5,000 and $9,999.99 without commissioners' approval but requiring at least three competitive bids. Under the updated policy, all purchases of $10,000 or more must be approved by commission- ers. In other Board of Com- missioners' news: Monroe County Commissioners want to change their check sign- ing policy. Commissioners unani- mously approved on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to amend the county's charter to allow commis- sioners to create a new check signing policy. The current policy requires at least three commissioners and the county clerk to sign each check. |0 By Richard Dumas forsyfh@mymcr.nef Monroe County Commissioners hired a collection agency in an effort to collect delinquent water payments. At the recommendation of the county's water system operator Utility Partners, commissioners unanimously approved on Tues- day, Feb. 19 to contract with Macon-based Advanced Bureau of Collections, LLP to collect unpaid bills on inactive accounts. According to county manager Jim Hedges, the County is cur- rently owed $254,700 from unpaid water bills of which about $148,000 (or 58 percent) are associated with inactive accounts. Hedges said of the county's approximately 4,000 water customers, 1,700 customers have overdue bills and'of these 1,700, 787 custom- ers are inactive. Advanced Bureau of Collections will receive 50 percent of collec- tions for accounts that owe $100 or less and 33 percent of collec- tions for accounts owing in excess of $100. In other Board of Commissioners' news: Monroe County Commissioners increased by about $7,000 what it will pay Utility Partners to run the county's water depart- ment. At the recommendation of county manager Jim Hedges, com- missioners approved on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to pay Utility Partners $481,317 for the company to operate the county's water depart- ment for the next 12 months. The county previously paid Utility Partners $474,204 last year, but Utility Partners was due a fee increase equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) hike of 1.5 per- cent as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Monroe County Commissioners surplused eight pieces of dated county equipment. At the recommendation of county manager Jim Hedges, com- missioners unanimously approved on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to surplus two pieces of equipment from the public works department, a John Deere tractor and a Ford F700 sander, and six pieces of equipment from the recreation department, two John Deere trac- tors, a Landpride mower, a Kubota tractor, a Bush Hog mower and a Snapper mower. Monroe County Commissioners bought a rollback/car carrier for the county shop maintenance department. At the recommendation of county manager Jim Hedges, com- missioners approved by a 3-2 vote on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to spend $62,980 to buy a Ford F-550 with a 19-foot bed from Loganville Ford. Hedges said the purchase would prevent the county from having to use private businesses to tow broken-down county vehicles, noting the county spent $6,400 having vehicles moved in 2018 and projects to spend much more in 2019. He said the funds to buy the vehicle were already included in the 2019 budget. Commission chairman Greg Tapley and District I commissioner Larry Evans were opposed to the purchase. Monroe County Commissioners will allow Abundant Life Church of Forsyth to have a quarterly Community Day of Prayer on the Monroe County courthouse steps. Abundant Life Church representative Tracy Myers asked com- missioners in a Jan. 23 e-mail for permission to hold hour-long community prayer days at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11 a.m. on Saturday; Nov. 16. Abundant Life Church's May prayer hour will be in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer ceremony on Thursday, May 2. Monroe County Commissioners granted an alcohol license for Stixx Lounge. Commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday; Feb. 19 to allow the applicant Dentavious Traylor to have an alcohol license' for his new dub, located at 14 Shaw Ave. urges use By Richard Dumas forsyth@mymcr.net Klopfer Road resident Stacey Nestor urged Monroe County commissioners on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to allow animal rescue groups to flourish in Monroe County. In a 10-minute speech to commissioners, Nestor said she wanted different operat- ing procedures put into place at the county's animal shelter that would get the animals out of the shelter faster as well as leave the shelter in better health. However, Nestor, who was joined at the meeting by about a half dozen other local animal advocates, never specified exactly what changes she proposed the county make. Nestor said she works closely with Middle Georgia animal rescue groups and said 85 percent of animals brought to the Macon-Bibb County animal shelter leave via rescue groups. She said she didn't have an exact figure but estimated that percent- age is much lower in Monroe County. "I want my efforts to benefit Monroe County" Nestor said "I want the dogs in my county to have rescue. I want the animal . overpopulation problem in my county to slowly decrease :- because of my efforts and the ef- : forts of others in our county that : are also in rescue." *.' At the condusion of Nestor's ,! comments, Monroe County commission chairman Greg Ta- pley told Nestor to draft specific proposed animal control changes - and meet with county manager ,:: Jim Hedges to discuss them. I. I By Richard Dumas tectural services for a forsyth@mymcr.net proposed renovation of the county's health Monroe County department building Commissioners hired on MLK Drive. an architect to create Greg B oike of the a renovation design Middle Georgia Re- for the aging county gional Commission health department. (MGRC) told commis- Commissioners sioners two architec- unanimously approved tural firms, Carter on Tuesday, Feb.'19 to Watkins and Valdosta- contract with Monroe- based McCall Archi- based Carter Watkins tecture, were chosen Associates on archi- as the two finalists for the job. Commission- ers selected Carter Watkins over McCall because the county would only pay Carter Watldns 6 percent of the total construc- tion cost versus the 10 percent requested by McCall, Although Carter Watkins did mandate the county pay a $2,500 upfront preliminary charge, the county would recoup the upfront v money ifthe project is :: completed. '" The county intends ,: to apply for a 2019 federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to fund the project. It has yet to be deter- mined whether the project will be com- pleted should Monroe County not receive the grant funding. "4 By Richard Dumas forsyth@mymcr.nef Monroe County Commissioners will allow three paid days off for county employees who have a death in their immediate family as part of a new bereavement leave policy. At the recommendation of county manager Jim Hedges, commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to establish uniform guidelines for paid time off to full-time county employees for absences related to the death of immediate family members. According to the updated polic employees will * be allowed up to three consecutive days offwith regular pay in the event of the death of the em- ployee's spouse, child, father, father-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, stepson or stepdaughter. Employees will be allowed one day offwith regular pay in the event of the death of the employee's brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or spouse's grandparent. 'i sloners s 9 "j ,j By Rkhard Dumas forsyth@mymcr.net Monroe County Commission- ers spent more than $800,000 to buy 31 new county vehicles. At the recommendation of county manager Jim Hedges, commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday; Feb. 19 to buy 31 new vehides in the amount of $808,840 through the Association of County Com- missioners of Georgia's (ACCG) lease/purchase agreement. Commissioners approved in November 2018 to replace 31 county vehides with more than 200,000 miles on them with new vehicles. BB&T later agreed to finance the lease. Thirteen of the 31 new vehicles.will be used by the Monroe County Sheriff's Of- rice. The new vehicle purchases were included in the county's 2019 budget. i, Mercer senior guard KeKe Cal- loway was named the Southern Conference Women's Basket- ball Player of the Week for her performances over the final week of the regular season, the league office announced Sunday. It is the third time that Cal- loway has earned the honor this season and eighth time by a Mer- cer player. Calloway averaged 19 points and 7.5 assists per game against Furman and Wofford last week as the Bears (22-7, 14-0) went undefeated in SoCon play for the second straight season. Calloway, a native of Forsyth, scored 18 against Furman and 20 against Wofford. The 20-point effort against the Terriers was her first time scoring 20 or more in the last seven contests. Her ef- forts as a point guard were effec- tive as well; she dished out eight and seven assists, respectively, againstthe two foes. CaUoway and Mercer will head to Asheville, N.C for the SoCon Tournament this week. The top-seeded Bears are slated to face No. 8-seed Western Carolina in the opening round at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 7. Calloway was named Tuesday as the media's choice for So-Con Pl@er of the Year. Pierson named All-Rat g ion Rock Springs Christian Academy senior defen- sive end Tucker Pierson, a Monroe County resi- dent, was awarded the 2018 GICAA All-Region Player award following a sterling senior season. Pierson's season stats included: 28 tackles, 11 tackles-for-a-loss and 3 sacks. (Photo/RSCA) i, j3