The Board of Planning and Zoning had a presentation Friday morning over their duties, responsibilities, functions, and other things. The presentation was split into two different parts, the building phase and the planning phase. The building section covered all of the various types of issues that the department deals with. They deal with many different permits including single family residences, manufactured homes, additions, renovations, and several other things of this nature. Under planning, their comprehensive plan examines population, infrastructure, housing land use, and other like things. Essentially, the presentation gave an overview of the entire department, including their 24 hour response goal.
In addition, the Board of Planning and Zoning discussed their request to replace an existing Code Enforcement Officer who is transferring to the Marshal’s Department. This is a simple hiring freeze for an already budgeted position.
Tax Commissioner Shane Frailey was next with a request to lift a hiring freeze for a position in his office. One of the Tax and Tag Agents has retired effective March 1st and the position needs to be filled. The position is already budgeted.
Cajen Rhodes with the Troup County Parks and Recreation office also had two requests Friday morning. The first request was to lift a hiring freeze for the PT Front Desk Clerk, as the current clerk has resigned. Additionally, the current part time Administrative Assistant staff member for the active life center has tendered their resignation as well, requiring another hiring freeze lift. Both of these positions are budgeted.
Tiffany Hutchinson with the Mental Health Court spoke next. Currently this court serves 26 participants. The Mental Health Court is asking the County to allow them to apply for the Council of Accountability Court Judges/Criminal Justice Coordinating Council grant for FY18. This is a reimbursable grant that does require a 10% match from the County. There is no change in this from previous years.
Judge Michael Key then spoke on two separate requests. The Troup County Juvenile Court is asking for permission of the County to apply for the Accountability Court Funding grant and also to accept the Accountability Funding Grant should it be awarded. These funds would be used to implement a Family Treatment Court within the Juvenile Court. This would be a court that looks specifically at cases of child abuse and neglect involving substance abuse by parent’s or caregivers. There would be a 10% match required by the County. With a budget of around $150,000, the County is looking at about $15,000. The grant is reimbursable and the court will submit check stubs to the CJCC for this purpose quarterly.
The Judge also spoke on the request for Board Approval to apply for the FY18 State of Georgia CACJ/ CJCC Accountability Court State Grant for the Felony Adult Drug Court. Sheryl Hicks also requested permission to pursue the same grant for the DUI/Drug Court. Both of these courts provide invaluable service to its participants and offer a variety of service and help to the County. These grants would help them both to continue their excellence in service for their participants. Both are reimbursable with a 10% match from the County.
James Emory then gave an update to the Hammett Road Bridge replacement. The bridge will be replaced by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). The construction should begin Monday, March 13th and will replace the bridge over a tributary to Yellow Jacket Creek. Hammett Road will be closed between addresses 2706 and 2775. The project should last about 9 months.
County Manager Tod Tentler then gave an update on the recently formed Highway Safety Committee. The Committee consists of County Manager Tentler, Sheriff James Woodruff, Sergeant Maurice Raines, and Chief Dennis Knight. There were several pieces of information that the group discussed. Last month, the State Patrol worked 140 wrecks on the highway, 80% of which were caused by distractions. That is the number one threat that has to be examined. On a note of good news, they are advising a plan as to where the Sheriff’s Office can call Fire Trucks on scenes that they are not needed which eliminates some dangers on the highway and saves the County some money. Additionally, Sergeant Raines and the State Patrol have a new officer on the way and will hopefully be fully staffed with 16 Troopers at some point in 2018.
Lastly, the Commissioners discussed a new social hosting ordinance that can be voted on and take effect. This has to deal with teens at parties that parents allow to have alcohol access. A first offense will see a fine of $200, a second offense will cost you $500, and a third would ensure $1,000 and some jail time. This ordnance will be read and voted on in the near future.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer