2017-11-29 / Front Page

James Henry steps down, Hiller Spann named Chairman of Board of Commissioners

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor

Jenkins County Board of Commissioners Chairman James Henry announced at a recent called meeting of the Commissioners that he was ready to relinquish his position as Chairman at the end of 2017.

Board members thanked Mr. Henry for his service and voted to appoint Commissioner Hiller Spann as Chairman, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

In a regular meeting session, the Commissioners dealt with issues brought before them by several individuals.

Mandy Underwood, Executive Director, Jenkins County Chamber of Commerce/Development Authority, provided an update on the proposed ScotBilt road paving project. She reported that ScotBilt would like to haul new mobile homes from the plant location in the Industrial Park, crossing Dairy Road, and travelling down Woodrum Lane to the Millen By-Pass. The Development Authority has received a grant to pave the entrance to the Industrial Park, and State Rep. Butch Parrish was awaiting the details to determine if state funding might be available for the road paving project, she said.

Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Alvin Burke reported on the effects of Hurricane Irma and debris cleanup efforts. He noted that the county was eligible for up to an 85% reimbursement for expenses incurred due to the storm. Mr. Burke reported that the Emergency Operations Call Center received 106 calls during the 24-hour period that the center was open and that an EMA Facebook page, opened by Hester Giles, had more than 10,000 hits during the storm period. He noted that he was pursuing the creating of an EMA web page.

Brittany Shaw, County Administrative Assistant, presented a proposal for cleanup along the county’s rights-of-way. The Commissioners requested additional information, including committee hierarchy, local grand requirements, and contracts for volunteers, etc.

Chief Magistrate Judge Janice Cheney requested that Charlotte Ray receive training and appointment as Clerk to the Magistrate Court. Judge Cheney stated that a clerk was needed so that official documents could be signed and payments could be collected in her absence. She noted that there would be a state mandated supplement paid to the clerk upon being sworn in. The Commissioners agreed to examine the request further and respond as soon as possible.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director Henry Young stated that he was not happy with recent changes to the county’s radio system. He noted that the EMS could no longer communicate with E-911 dispatchers when on out-of-town transports. The Commissioners agreed to review local needs and make a determination.

Director Young also requested that the Commissioners grant him the use of a Crown Victoria that was seized in a drug case in exchange for a $4,000 increase in the Sheriff’s Department budget. The vehicle was to be sold during an upcoming Sheriff’s Sale. He stated the vehicle would be used by his department to respond to EMS calls and Coroner calls. The commissioners approved the purchase of the vehicle from the Sheriff’s Department in the amount of $3,500 with the funds being transferred to the Forfeitures Account. There would also be a $500 charge for transferring the equipment from the Coroner’s old car to the new one.

Ms. Julia Lassiter inquired as to the requirements for appointment to the Board of Tax Assessors, stating that she was interested in serving on any Board that has an opening.

County Administrator Grady Saxon presented an inquiry from a county citizen concerning the disposition of the old county jail. The Commissioners approved a motion authorizing Mr. Saxon to research property value information for the property in preparation for the consideration of selling the property.

Mr. Saxon discussed the problems with parking on the Jenkins County Courthouse lawn, stating that he had spoken with a Ms. Ann Floyd with the CSRA Regional Commission regarding the matter. Ms. Floyd will take the matter to the Historical Society for recommendations, Mr. Saxon said.

In connection with this, Jenkins County Sheriff Robert Oglesby stated that his department would begin parking on the rear sidewalk of the courthouse when transporting prisoners to court.

Mr. Sax also reported that he had spoken with Jenkins County School Superintendent Tara Cooper concerning the presence of Public Safety employees at school sporting events. Mrs. Cooper informed him that there were no state requirements, but that the Jenkins

County Booster Club paid off-duty officers to patrol basketball and football games for crowd control. She also noted that currently an ambulance is on site for all foot ball games but could leave if needed elsewhere and that a certified trainer is also on site during football games. It was suggested that the matter be discussed further with Mrs. Cooper.

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