By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Board of Commissioners approved multiple SPLOST purchases during their Thursday, June 2 meeting.
Lecia Eubanks, Director of the Cherokee Regional Library System, requested to purchase mobile display shelving for books, for $3,218.13, with SPLOST funds.
The Commissioners said that they would like to check with the construction trades class at Dade County High School first, to see if the students would be able to build something similar. If not, then the Commissioners said that they would approve the purchase.
Paula Duvall with the Tax Assessor’s office asked the Commissioners for the purchase of a vehicle, to be used for field team inspections. The vehicle is a 2021 Ford F-150 truck and is from Prater Ford, costing $29,895.80. The Commissioners approved the purchase.
The Commissioners also approved the purchase of an Avigilon camera server, for $8,491.25, for the Senior Center and the Sports Complex.
“We have talked about this for a long time. What few cameras we’ve got are very blurry. We’ve had some instances down at the park. It will tie into our systems here and will be monitored here at 911,” County Executive Ted Rumley said.
Dade County Mountain Rescue requested the purchase of multiple pieces of equipment, including a generator, battery powered tools, portable radios, and radio harnesses. The total amount requested was $27,675.25. The Commissioners approved the purchase.
Also, during the meeting it was noted that there would be a public hearing on June 16 at 5 p.m. for the proposed fiscal year 2023 budget.
“We are looking at about a $13,396,000 budget, which is about $250,000 over last year’s budget. Inflation goes right down the line,” Don Townsend, County Clerk and Finance Officer said.
“Every person that is an elected official that’s in the budget will be in this room. So, if you have a question say about the sheriff’s budget, there will be someone here to answer your questions,” Rumley said about the public hearing.
The Commissioners approved a proposed Intergovernmental agreement for use and distribution of proceeds generated by the 2023 Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) referendum.
The Commissioners also approved the Dade County and City of Trenton Joint Comprehensive Plan update, which will be good through 2027.
Rumley asked the Commissioners to keep looking for someone to fill the vacant space on the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Board.
The Commissioners approved the reappointment of Tad Evearitt to the Public Library Board of Trustees, and the appointment of Patty Murphy as the County Safety Coordinator.
Commissioner Phillip Hartline reported that a softball tournament recently ended at the Dade County Sports Complex. Eleven teams participated. A district baseball tournament will be hosted at the Sports Complex on June 18. Also, there were 38 electrical inspections for the month of May.
Commissioner Robert Goff reported that were was $298,314 collected for SPLOST for the month of May. Goff also reminded citizens that assessment notices have been mailed out, but it’s not a bill. There is a 45-day window if anyone wishes to appeal.
Commissioner Melissa C. Bradford reported that the Road Department had 412 work orders, and there were 863 tons processed at the transfer station.
Commissioner Lamar Lowery was absent from the meeting. Rumley noted that Lowery had tested positive for COVID-19.
Rumley reported that there are still issues with the railroad, with blocking trains.
“If you live in Trenton, and if you live on Steele Road, you know what I’m talking about. We are doing everything we can. We have the federal government involved. Hopefully we can have some type of an agreement before this month is over. The trains are longer, and they are taking longer to break down in Chattanooga. We’ve got to do something before something bad happens,” Rumley said.
Mindy Haworth, Manager of the Dade County Library, reported that 2,311 people came to the library in the month of May. In addition, there were 16 programs during the month, with 269 people in attendance. The Summer Reading Challenge at the library is ongoing, and 140 people have already registered to participate.
Laura Beth Cunningham reported on ongoing 4-H activities. There is a full calendar of 4-H summer activities. Some of these include a UGA Cohutta Fisheries Center Field Trip on July 15, a 4-H Forestry Judging team, and a Tellus Science Museum Field Trip on July 19. Call the office at (706) 657-4116 to register for activities.
UGA Extension Agent Sarah Dyer reported that the new D.A.D.E Greater Gardener Series kicked off in May, and there was a large turnout with 60 enrolled registrants. The Tri-State Beekeepers Association will meet on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at the Dade County UGA Extension and 4-H Agriculture Center. The Tri-State Cattlemen’s Association will meet on Tuesday, June 21, at the Walker County Agriculture Center.
John Rollins, Vice Chair of the Alliance for Dade, reported that there are 105 investors, and renewal outreach is going well. There are multiple items for sale in the Welcome Center, including artwork by local artists, birdhouses made by high school students, and Civil War in Dade County books. The Alliance Public Arts Committee is planning the first annual Plum Nelly Depot Art Show in August, and the Alliance is also preparing for a job fair in September.
Townsend presented the financial report. The general fund had a balance of $1,800,981 as of May 31. There is $723,183 available in the SPLOST VI account. Total income for the month of April was $610,852.95, and $558,256.27 was budgeted.
The Commissioners went into executive session to discuss real estate matters. No action was taken afterward.
The next Dade County Board of Commissioners meeting will be July 7.