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County Officials Put Off Emergency Services Purchases

News Editor

Director of Emergency Services Alex Case spoke to the Dade County Board of Commissioners about possible purchases with American Rescue Plan Act funds during the monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Case said that LIFEPAK Defibrillators and LUCAS Chest Compression System devices are needed, in addition to other emergency services related equipment. The total amount requested, including the maintenance needed for the items, is $376,186.55.

Case noted that the price of the items would go up seven percent in January 2022.

“This is stuff that we were trying to do with CARES money, but then the state took the other two rounds of CARES from us. This can be spent on infrastructure, response, and recovery, and this is for the response. This is for the people who are staying at home, not wanting to go to the hospital and getting sicker. This is a chance to use ARPA money instead of SPLOST,” Case said.

“My personal opinion is that we just spent a half a million dollars, and if you do this, you’re getting almost three quarters of what we’ve got so far. I know they’re saying we’re getting more [ARPA funds], but we haven’t gotten it yet,” Commissioner Phillip Hartline said, referring to the purchase of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses for the fire departments last month.

“I feel like this is a time where the people need it. There are people, more than ever, that need this equipment. More than ever, these trucks need to be supplied with what they need. But it is a lot of money,” Commissioner Melissa C. Bradford said.

The commissioners voted to table the discussion.

In other news, the board of commissioners designated the week of Dec. 5-11 as National Influenza Vaccination Week, and Winter Weather Preparedness Week.

The commissioners appointed Alan Townsend to the Water and Sewer Authority board, and Larry Moore II to the Industrial Development Authority board, to fill the unexpired term of his father, Larry Moore.

Chelsea Kovalevskiy. Assistant Director at the Cherokee Regional Library System, introduced Mindy Haworth, who will be Dade County Public Library’s new manager.

“I live in Walker County, in Flintstone. I have been an English Language Arts teacher for the past few years, a mom of four grown, home–schooled kids. Books and literacy are my passion in my life. I am so excited. I cannot wait to make this next transition and get to know more about the community,” Haworth said.

Laura Beth Cunningham, known locally as Beth Gass, is the new Dade County 4-H Educator. Cunningham introduced herself to the commissioners and gave a 4-H report.

The 4-H Chicken Show and Sale of Champions was held Nov. 8. The grand champion pen of hens of exhibited by Tahila Santos. The grand champion pen was purchased for $500. The reserve champion was exhibited by Elijah Mentzer and was purchased for $400.

Coaches are needed for the 2022 BB and .22 rifle teams. Please contact the office at (706) 657-4116 if you are interested in becoming a coach.

Information sessions and registration nights for the shotgun team will be Dec. 16 and Jan. 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the UGA Extension and 4-H Ag Center. Practices begin Jan. 11.

The next Tri-State Beekeepers Association meeting will be Monday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Dade County UGA Extension and 4-H Ag Center.

Commissioner Lamar Lowery reported that there were 209 EMS calls for the month of Nov., 136 Fire Department calls, and 1,497 police calls.

Lowery also reported that Blevins Construction Management has started working on the Historical Courthouse restoration project by putting out RFPs (request for proposals).

Hartline said that he was going to start reporting something new each month, the amount of electrical permit inspections.

“Since Oct. 1 we have done 80 electrical permit inspections. I would say 50 percent of that is a new home or mobile home coming into the county,” Hartline said.

Bradford reported that there were 515 tons at the Recycling and Transfer Station, and 210 road work orders for the month of Nov.

County Executive Ted Rumley reported that both Hales Gap Road and Burkhalter Gap Road construction are complete. Striping will begin sometime next week. Upcoming projects include Cole City Hollow and Murphy Hollow.

Finance Officer Don Townsend gave the monthly financial report. The general fund balance as of Nov. 30 is $2,036,282. Total available 2015 SPLOST funds are $310,114. Total available 2021 SPLOST funds are $670,425. Total revenue as of Oct. 31 was $1,213,983.75. The budget was $2,217,926.26. Total expenses as of Oct. 31 were $901,594.73.

The next Dade County Board of Commissioners meeting is Jan. 6.

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