County seeks funds for road im­prove­ments

Com­mis­sion­ers OK spend­ing on Public Works equip­ment and com­put­ers.

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Kevin Myrick Ed­i­tor

Polk County Com­mis­sion­ers had a busy month of Septem­ber with one of their big­gest de­ci­sions on who would be join­ing them as a new mem­ber.

The rest of their monthly agenda was still busy enough de­spite the unan­i­mous vote to have Jose Igle­sias join the board ranks, and will pro­vide ben­e­fits aplenty in the years ahead for lo­cal res­i­dents and em­ploy­ees alike.

Among those were a fund­ing re­quest to get work done to widen Chero­kee Road now that the county has taken over the re­spon­si­bil­ity for road main­te­nance and im­prove­ment with the trade for re­spon­si­bil­ity ear­lier in the year for the Cedar­town Sports Walk of Fame stat­ues with the City of Cedar­town.

County Man­ager Matt Den­ton said that of­fi­cials have been work­ing with State Rep. Trey Kel­ley and other state of­fi­cials to find fund­ing via the Lo­cal Main­te­nance and Im­prove­ment Grants to get fund­ing for widen­ing of Chero­kee Road.

The Sept. 13 ap­proval on the agenda was to give the county ad­min­is­tra­tion the go-ahead to seek the ad­di­tional LMIG funds. It’s one of two roads the county is hop­ing to get state help with.

“We also are go­ing to seek money to do some­thing about Mar­quette Road,” Den­ton said.

He added that due to the amount of work that needs to be done, Mar­quette Road will be a sep­a­rate project for the yeas ahead. The scope of work. re­quires es­sen­tially mov­ing por­tions of the road com­pletely to give more room for mak­ing Mar­quette Road be­tween Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Tech­ni­cal Col­lege’s cam­pus in Rock­mart and Rock­mart High School, which will cost mil­lions of dol­lars.

The project is still one the county plans to go af­ter, along with a num­ber of other im­prove­ments that county of­fi­cials are seek­ing for the fu­ture.

Public Works Di­rec­tor Michael Gravett said that af­ter con­ver­sa­tions with the state De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion, the county is look­ing ahead and plan­ning for bridge re­pairs as well. Es­pe­cially those which are sin­gle-lane bridges and haven’t seen re­pairs and main­te­nance com­pleted in a num­ber of years.

Gravett’s de­part­ment also has a new dump truck com­ing fol­low­ing ap­proval of a $123,000 bid as part of cap­i­tal im­prove­ment up­grades for Public Works.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved fund­ing for mov­ing power lines for the new fuel sta­tion, and for pur­chase of new tire and brake equip­ment for the new fa­cil­ity in or­der to make those re­pairs to county ve­hi­cles - with the ex­cep­tion of dump trucks and trac­tors - in-house.

When asked sev­eral times by the com­mis­sion whether the new equip­ment will help save money for the county in the fu­ture on do­ing the work in-house, Gravett said the whole­sale cost of tires just for sev­eral de­part­ments who drive ve­hi­cles on a daily ba­sis will help save money.

Com­puter pur­chases

Polk County has eight new desk­tops and a num­ber of lap­tops and prin­ters are headed to the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion and County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in the com­ing weeks.

Com­mis­sion­ers voted unan­i­mously for the pair of cap­i­tal im­prove­ment pur­chases, re­plac­ing equip­ment used by ad­min­is­tra­tors who han­dle hu­man re­sources, fi­nances and more for new desk­tops. Den­ton said the com­put­ers were re­plac­ing sev­eral ma­chines that have ex­pe­ri­enced hard­ware fail­ures over the past months.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the Sher­iff’s Of­fice are get­ting 18 lap­tops, a trio of prin­ters and the mount­ing hard­ware af­ter spend­ing was ap­proved to put re­place­ment Pana­sonic Tough­books in­side of squad cars used by deputies when they are serv­ing war­rants.

Com­mis­sioner Chuck Thax­ton asked that in the fu­ture the county try to make these pur­chases in bulk an­nu­ally in hopes of sav­ing money by mak­ing bulk pur­chases.

Com­mis­sion de­ci­sions

Unan­i­mous votes greeted sev­eral de­ci­sions by the com­mis­sion to take care of ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters, and to honor a for­mer mem­ber who re­signed ahead of a move to Cobb County.

Com­mis­sion­ers agreed to ap­prove Jen­nifer Hulsey as the new vice chair for the board af­ter she was the sole nom­i­nee put up by Scotty Tillery.

Both Marshelle and Chuck Thax­ton and Tillery voted for their ap­proval of Hulsey tak­ing over the vice chair spot be­came open with the res­ig­na­tion of for­mer Dis­trict 3 Com­mis­sioner Stefanie Drake Bur­ford.

A procla­ma­tion honor­ing her ser­vice to the county as a com­mis­sioner was also unan­i­mously ap­proved by the board, along with nam­ing Tillery as the vot­ing del­e­gate for the Fall Leg­isla­tive Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence in the com­ing weeks.

Write-offs

The City of Aragon won’t owe any back taxes on prop­erty they bought from them­selves on the court­house steps on Port­land Road.

Com­mis­sion­ers voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove writ­ing off more than $3,500 in back prop­erty taxes on the land pur­chased by the city, which the city coun­cil had also pre­vi­ously writ­ten taxes off for in the past.

The re­quest did draw dis­cus­sion dur­ing the work ses­sion held in the hours pre­vi­ous. Com­mis­sion­ers wanted to know why the prop­erty had gone on a city tax sale be­fore a county tax sale with that much back taxes owed, which went back to sev­eral years prior. Later dur­ing the reg­u­lar meet­ing, Den­ton pro­vided a re­sponse that af­ter a dis­cus­sion with Tax Com­mis­sioner Kathy Cole, he learned the city had held a tax sale and scooped up the prop­erty be­fore it went on the county’s auc­tion block again.

Com­mis­sion­ers also ap­proved writ­ing off $107,876.26 in taxes that were also deemed un­col­lectible, much of it for in­ven­tory from a store that pre­vi­ously closed and the rest on boats that had been sold but not recorded on the tax rolls.

Kevin Myrick / Stan­dard Jour­nal

Fund­ing is be­ing sought in the com­ing years to re­work Mar­quette Road in Rock­mart to both change it’s gen­eral path and to widen it to al­low for cars to pass.

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