Madison County commissioners have repeatedly expressed confusion and dismay over escalating bills at the county jail for water/sewer services provided by the City of Danielsville, which charges the county out-of-city rates.
That irritation was evident again during a recent BOC meeting, when commissioners pointed out that bills from Danielsville have been as high as $10,000 for a month. BOC member Stanley Thomas said it’s unacceptable for the county to possibly pay $120,000 in a year for water from Danielsville for the jail.
“$120,000 is a lot to pay for water,” he said.
Sheriff Kip Thomas spoke on the situation, saying there has been no evidence of water leaks and that there has been no abnormal water use at the sheriff’s office/jail on Hwy. 98.
The commissioners discussed getting new meters for the jail. And commissioner Mike Youngblood asked questions about potentially pulling away from city services at the jail. For instance, he asked industrial authority executive director Marvin White several questions about the feasibility of installing an independent sewer system at the jail. White noted that several local schools are on septic systems, adding that it could be done. He said the county would have to determine a way to dispose of the treated waste water. The board took no action on the issue.
SMITH NAMED TO ELECTION BOARD
In other matters, Madison County commissioners approved Leo Smith as the Democratic Party’s representative on the newly formed three-member county election board. The Republican Party will also have a representative on the board, but the party has yet to put forth a nomination to the commissioners. Tracy Dean, the county’s chief registrar and election superintendent, will serve as the chairman of the election board. Commissioner Thomas praised the nomination, saying Smith has exhibited professionalism for many years as a local poll manager during elections.
BILLBOARD PERMIT FEES SET
Commissioners agreed to set the county’s billboard permit fee at $100 Monday. Zoning administrator Linda Fortson informed the board that Franklin County has a $25 fee for billboard permits, while Banks County has a $100 permit and Athens-Clarke County has a $125 fee. The state Department of Transportation charges $300 for a billboard permit on state highways. So, anyone getting a billboard permit in Madison County must pay both the county and state fees. In Madison County, billboards are only allowed on state highways south of Hwy. 98.
BOARD DISCUSSES ROADS
County commissioners talked briefly about state funding for local roads through the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program. The state will provide over $500,000 to the county for 2014 for local road projects. However, the county must put up at least 30-percent in matching funds to receive the grant. Dove asked board members for suggestions on what roads might be addressed in 2014 through the LMIG program. Only two commissioners offered road names Monday, with the others saying they needed more time to consider the matter. Commissioner Thomas suggested Aderhold Rogers Road and Frank Bird Road be paved in 2014. Commissioner Pete Bond named Young Harris Road, Rock Quarry Road and New Haven Church Road. Dove said the board will need to have road projects submitted to the state by Jan. 1.
County commission chairman Anthony Dove informed the commissioners that sales tax collections for 2013 are 2.6 percent more than in 2012. Hoke Strickland asked commissioners to clean out a clogged pipe under CO Draper Road. The board renewed an agreement with the school system for resource officers at the high school and middle school. The board approved a resolution proclaiming Sept. 17-23 as “Constitution Week.”