A long-term overhaul of the Madison County’s 911 system is almost complete.

911 director Brenan Baird told the board of commissioners Monday that the 2.5-year project, except for some “testing and tweaking,” is now complete.

Baird says the county now has 99 percent of emergency services radio coverage in the county. He said there is still one small stretch of “hit-or-miss” coverage, which is from the midpoint of the Hwy. 172 bridge into Elbert County and Roy Woods Road. Baird said it had been known that this area would be a problem from the beginning and that both Elbert and Oglethorpe counties also deal with coverage issues in that area and they continue to look for workarounds.

He said he was pleased with their partnership with Motorola, and noted that one of the new towers was hit when the recent tornado came through the county and that the company had the 911 system back up and running within four hours, starting in the middle of the storm.

In response to a question for commissioners, Baird said there are backup generators at all the towers. He noted that a couple of them are older models, but that new generators have been ordered for those, but are on back order at this time.

In other business Monday night, the BOC voted unanimously to proceed with a county Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) and to distribute funds from it, if approved by voters, to the cities based on population, rather than on city size in road miles. Under this formula, the county would receive about 88 percent of the funds over the six years SPLOST term, with the cities receiving the remaining 12 percent. Based on this formula, Comer would receive the most of those remaining funds (4.4 percent), followed by Danielsville at 2.2 percent.

The vote allows county attorney Michael Pruett to fill in the percentages and develop the referendum to present to voters in November.

Industrial Authority Chairman Frank Ginn told the BOC that the IDA is doing a lot of work to map the county’s water system and that while they are making significant progress on expanding the water system, it will likely take decades to complete. He also discussed what the county may want to do with the American Rescue Plan funds and that fire protection and water and sewer services should also be a priority, as well as broadband service.

Commissioner Terry Chandler pointed out that the industrial authority needs to be involved as the county moves forward with development of its new comprehensive plan.

Also Monday night, the BOC gave the go ahead for Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter (MOAS) Director Andrew Kitchens to pursue a grant from the Pet Safe company for a county dog park. He proposed that the park could be located in the field in front of the shelter. He said it was the same grant pursued by Oconee County for a dog park and that they received $25,000 from Pet Safe to develop the project.

Kitchens said the shelter is willing to apply for the grant, insure the park on the shelter’s insurance (for an additional cost of about $100 per year) and to work to develop it in front of the shelter or in another location, if one is selected. County clerk Rhonda Wooten noted that the county has already presented a letter of support to the shelter.

The BOC also approved beginning the process abandoning 800 feet of Burke Leachman Road. The commissioners agreed to have the road supervisor provide a letter of support for the process.

Board members removed a discussion of conveying the Danielsville Presbyterian Church and cemetery to the city of Danielsville, saying they need more information on the details of such a move. They also removed considering approving the zoning administrator to initiate the amendment process for sections of the zoning ordinance until more amendments are to be considered so they can be done all at once.

The commissioners added the approval of a salary agreement with the Northern Circuit’s public defender’s office for indigent offenders to the board’s voting meeting later in June.

They also approved the re-appointment of Reginal Hunter to the regional Advantage Behavioral Health Services board.

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