An archeological greenspace park, a new administrative building and buying the remainder of the Gordon Street Center were among the topics discussed during a day-long meeting of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners last week.
Although the board took no votes on any of the various subjects it discussed, there was a consensus for county manager Kevin Poe to pursue purchasing land for an archeological park that has rock mounds reportedly created by Native Americans. The county had previously discussed the proposed park and negotiated terms with landowners for the project.
The BOC also had a consensus for Poe to negotiate with the Jackson County Board of Education to purchase the remainder of the Gordon Street Center for the purpose of expanding the county elections offices. The county currently owns part of the facility and uses that for its recreation offices. The BOE has used the remainder of the facility for some of its administrative and IT offices.
The board also discussed continuing the county's SPLOST beyond 2023 with a SPLOST 7 referendum in November 2022.
Some of the proposed uses of the SPLOST funds would be for a new 35,000 sq. ft. county administrative building to be built on county property near the courthouse, a renovation of the county jail, and additional funding for county roads, bridges, recreation, public safety and airport upgrades.
Among other items discussed by the BOC were:
• upgrading and realigning the intersection of Skelton Rd. at Hwy. 332, a project the county hopes to complete by the start of the 2022 school year.
• expanding the county solid waste transfer station, a project that would cost around $2 million. The amount of trash being handled by the current facility has grown in recent years. The facility set a new monthly record in March of handling over 7,191 tons of trash.
• buying a quick response vehicle for EMS use.
• an update on a plan to expand the county animal shelter. Bids for the project came in high, so officials are now looking to do the project in phases. This year, the county wants to fix some maintenance problems at the facility that have drawn violation notices from the state.
• a planned expansion of the county Senior Center.
• considering a parking fee for those using Hurricane Shoals Park. Poe reported that the park had record crowds this year.
• the potential use of federal rescue funds to help pay for the county's new public safety radio system.
• the future of the county's transit system and if that system should continue to accept some state funding with its strings attached, be locally funded or discontinued.