First round of county fee sched­ule changes com­ing soon af­ter com­mit­tee meeting

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams swilliams1799@ya­hoo.com

Polk’s up­dated fee sched­ule saw an­other ap­pear­ance at the Oc­to­ber fi­nance com­mit­tee meeting, and with a rough draft cir­cu­lat­ing be­tween of­fi­cials, com­mis­sioner Scotty Tillery plans to have the first half of the doc­u­ment pre­pared for a de­ci­sion for the board’s Novem­ber meeting.

Part A of the doc­u­ment fea­tures changes to or­di­nance vi­o­la­tion fines and Mag­is­trate Court fees. In both cases, the cur­rently pro­posed struc­ture sees in­creases, but while more money, the fee struc­ture is still lower than cer­tain sur­round­ing coun­ties.

Neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties served as in­spi­ra­tion for many of the changes.

Along­side get­ting notes and ap­proval from the var­i­ous par­ties in­volved, many of the fee changes would re­quire mi­nor or­di­nance amend­ments.

If County Man­ager Matt Denton and Tillery fail to make all the nec­es­sary changes in time, lo­cals can ex­pect the doc­u­ment to ap­pear dur­ing their De­cem­ber ses­sion in­stead.

Part B of the doc­u­ment sees in­creased fees in re­la­tion to plan­ning, zon­ing, and build­ing, which is slated for pre­lim­i­nary cir­cu­la­tion in De­cem­ber and for­mal ap­proval later in Jan­uary.

“These (Part A struc­ture changes) will be ready for ap­proval in Novem­ber,” Tillery said. “De­cem­ber, I’ll hand out all the plan­ning and zon­ing fees, and all the ad­di­tional build­ing fees for the com­mis­sion­ers to re­view through the month of De­cem­ber be­fore ap­prov­ing in Jan­uary.”

Ideas for new fees were tossed around dur­ing the Oc­to­ber 24 meeting, in­clud­ing a pro­posed ‘Adventure Fee’ that would see a small sum of money is­sued against those par­tic­i­pat­ing in dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­i­ties such as sky­div­ing or mud bog­ging.

“I’m fine with the fee sched­uleas much as I know about it,” Com­mis­sioner Hal Floyd said. “My con­cern is let’s hash it and get it im­ple­mented. But in the fu­ture, and I don’t want to de­lay the im­ple­men­ta­tion of it, I would like the board to con­sider an adventure fee.”

Since more hard­core recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties could al­ways re­sult in the need for EMS or po­lice, the fee could help cir­cum­vent the cost of hav­ing the of­fi­cials on standby. Still strictly an idea, the com­mis­sion­ers agreed to do some re­search be­fore mov­ing for­ward.

“We’re still pro­vid­ing things for them, whether its po­lice or EMS,” Tillery said. “I agree with you.”

The com­mis­sions con­sid­ered cre­at­ing fees in other ar­eas, but like with the sup­posed dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­ity cost, adding fees would re­quire or­di­nance amend­ments. Those in­ter­ested in the fate of the fee struc­ture should look to­wards the group’s Novem­ber work ses­sion.

The group also touched on the re­pairs be­ing planned to Cedar­town’s old pub­lic works fa­cil­ity, and while there are no con­crete cost es­ti­mates, the goal is to keep the en­tire project un­der $100,000.

“All I want to do is re­duce the foot­print of the fa­cil­ity, re­place the metal on the build­ing as needed, clean it up, and make it look de­cent,” Denton said.

Cost re­stric­tions mean the build­ing must be up­dated one step at a time, but once us­able, the build­ing could po­ten­tially work as over­flow space.

While the pro­posed 80 rule and the 2020 SPLOST were on the agenda, the com­mis­sion­ers felt the items had al­ready been thor­oughly cov­ered and chose not to speak on them for long. Those in­ter­ested in up­dated to the items should also con­sider vis­it­ing the Novem­ber ses­sion.

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