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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
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November 28, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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November 28, 2018
 

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November 28, 2018 Page 7A iR orter By I d rd Dumas forsyth@mymcr.net Monroe County is consider- ing requiring business licenses. County commissioners on Nov. 20 authorized new county manager Jim Hedges to study the need for county business licenses. Hedges said he recommends Monroe County to require busi- ness licenses for all businesses located in the county, adding that licenses provide "invaluable" infor- marion. In a letter to commission- ers dated Oct. 30, Hedges said data collected by UGRs Carl mson Institute indicates Monroe County could receive between $50,000 and $75,000 in additional revenue from the issuance of business licenses. Hedges told commissioners on Nov. 20 that implementing a business license system would be a major undertaking for he and county attorney Ben Vaughn and said he wanted to make sure com- missioners really wanted to do it before they went forward with it. District 3 commissioner John Ambrose said he supports requir- ing business licenses, saying the county needs to know what types of businesses are operating within the county. He added that chemi- cals and other hazards can pose a danger for county firemen/EMTs if they go to a location in which they are unaware of what is occurring there. Ambrose also said out-of- county businesseshave swindled some Monroe County customers and suggested requiring bonds for businesses based outside of Monroe County to post in order to; do business in the county. On the other hand, District 1 commissioner Larry Evans said he would only support requiring business licenses if Hedges could determine that the requirements would be enforceable. Commissioners then voted 5-0 to allow Hedges to look into the matter further. l am alocal Monroe Countian and you can contact me at (478)994.9249. :t-- By P.kl'm I: u m forsyth@mymcr.net Monroe County Commis- sioners gave raises on Nov. 20 to road superintendent Junior Watts, maintenance director Ray White and hu- man resources director Janet Abbott. With the increases, Watts will earn $72,000, White will earn $52,000 and Abbott will earn $50,700.11ae raises were approved following a 30:minute closed session to discuss personnel. Meanwhile, at the same meering, Monroe County Board of Assessors chair- man Ed Hutcheson urged commissioners to raise salaries within the Monroe County Tax Assessor's Of rice. Hutcheson requested an across-the-board salary increase of a total of $45,839 for the county's six tax asses- sots' office employees effec- tive Jan. 1, 2019, saying their new salaries would be more commensurate with other counties according to data collected by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Hutcheson said he made the same request in a 2017 letter and had never received a reply from commissioners. Hutcheson estimated Monroe County has added $75,000 in tax revenues as a result of work chiefappmis- er Bobby Gerhardt has done to track every cell tower and billboard site within the coun Hutcheson also noted that after a 14-year span between 1994-2007 in which Monroe County level of assessment fell below the 38 percent threshold 10 times, the county tax asses- sor's office has not missed its 38 percent goal a single time since 2008. He said as a result Monroe Countylost an estimated $20 million in revenue from public utilities during the 14-year span from 1994-2007. Hutcheson said, "We have wonderful people in the 5 Years in a row we have provided stuffed animals for senior citizens of Pruitt Heath-Monroe, Hwy 42 N in Forsyth. I am accepting donations now. Your generous donation of.$20 (or a gift in any amount) will make a difference in the lives of these precious residents at the nursing home. office that are doing a great job" Hutcheson said with just six employees assess- ing Monroe County's $3.6 billion tax digest, Monroe County's assessor's office has fewer employees than several nearby counties, induding Butts, Jones and Peach, despite those coun- ties having much smaller digests. Hutcheson said the last countywide revaluation was a decade ago in 2008 but said the tax assessor's office now has pictometry software that allows for comparisons between the appearance of properties Elaine Gilbert holds the cute, cuddly "Rory the Lion"55 in 2008 and today. Saying the assessor's office needs a full-time employee to oper- ate the pictometry software, Hutcheson also asked com- missioners to hire a seventh employee at a startng salary of $25,880 to serve as an ap- praisal technician. District 1 commissioner Larry Evans commended Hutcheson for his work, say- ing he treats his unpaid as- sessor's board chair position as if it's "a full-time job" Evans said of Hutcheson: "He wants to see that Mon- roe County gets every dollar that's due to Monroe County in taxes. And I want to tell you I appredate it." Despite Evans' praise, commissioners took no action on Hutcheson's request at the Nov. 20 meeting. Commissioners are expected to make final 2019 budget decisions next month. Close your loan or after November and have no payment due until 2019 !fje .com 109D Patrol Road FORSTH Electing our Sheriff is one of the most important decisions we can make for our families and our community. Our Sheriff is responsible for leading those who keep us safe. We can't risk it on inexperience. 31 years POST Certified E rcement perie e the Monroe Coun Sheriff's 54 20years management expe ce* Division Commander 3500