Writer’s Conference Coming to Indian Springs

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revFNL_speakersPageA Writers Conference will be held the weekend of September 12-13 at the Village at Indian Springs. Sponsored by the Jackson-Butts County Arts Council, the conference has a number of featured writers who will be speaking on writing, providing expertise to prospective writers giving insight into the writing process. For more information, see the attached flyer on how to register to attend and please help us welcome this great event to our community!

Position Available: Payroll Benefits Coordinator

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The Butts County Administration Department is seeing applicants for the position of Payroll Benefits Coordinator. Under general supervision, selected incumbent performs highly responsible work involving payroll and personnel processing. Responsibilities include processing payroll, distribution of payroll statements to employees, preparing garnishments paperwork, orientating and explaining benefits to employees, answering questions from employees concerning payroll matters and employee benefits, moderate level accounting work and a variety of related tasks. Work is performed under the general supervision of the Controller or and the County Administrator.

The position requires specific educational requirements and experience. Interested candidates may download a copy of the job description and application at the links below. A resume is required to be submitted along with the application. Applications should be addressed to J. Michael Brewer, County Administrator and must be received by no later than Friday, September 12th at Noon.

Butts County reserves to the right to reject any applications received that does not meet the desired qualifications.

Application: here

Job Description: 0406 Payroll Benefits Coord 2014

County Offices Closed for Labor Day

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Butts County business offices will be closed on September 1, 2014 for the Labor Day Holiday and will reopen at 8am the following day.

County Breaks Ground on New Fire Station

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Butts County Officials broke ground Tuesday on a new fire station that will be positioned to provide 24-hour fire coverage to the southeastern portion of the county once opened in early 2015. The ceremony kicked off at 11:00 am on the site of the new station, located about 100 yards north of the of the intersection of Georgia Highways 42 and 87, as well as US Highway 23. In addition to the full Board of Commissioners, several other elected officials were in attendance, including State Representative Susan Holmes, Coroner Ralph Wilson, Mayor David Nestor of Jenkinsburg, Interim Mayor Thomas Douglas of Flovilla and the full membership of the Flovilla City Council.

County Administrator Michael Brewer began the ceremony with a welcome and recognition of all of the elected officials and key staff involved with the building project. He then turned the ceremonies over to Vice Chairman Robert Henderson, who represents the district that the new fire station will reside in for an invocation. Chairman Roger McDaniel gave welcoming remarks to all assembled and spoke to the process and time that had gone into the planning for the new station and remarked on its impact to that part of the County. State Representative Susan Holmes also spoke, noting that when her own home had burned some 30 years earlier, it was firefighters that had made the difference, saving many of her family’s possessions.

0826_JPA_StationGroundbreak5Following remarks, the Commissioners and the County Administrator, along with Fire Chief Mike Wilson, Director of Operations Douglas Manning and Representative Holmes grabbed ceremonial shovels and held a groundbreaking in front of the project sign alongside the highway.

The new station, officially numbered as Butts County Fire Station 8, will bear the name of “Indian Springs Fire Station” in recognition of its location just north of the famous state park from which the name comes.

“Indian Springs is famous in its own right” stated County Administrator Michael Brewer. “The history of this area goes back well before there was even a Butts County, known for its mineral water springs as well as being the site for the signing of the treaties that ceded the land from the Creek Indians to the State in the years prior to the founding of the county. It was also famous as a resort area for many decades and is notable as the home of the first established state park in the nation. We felt it was fitting to honor that history by naming this new fire station for that area.

Indian Springs, always popular with tourists at the park, has seen a resurgence in recent years, largely thanks to the efforts by local citizens who have worked together to promote the unique aspects of the area. The Village at Indian Springs has helped to raise new awareness of the natural beauty of the area, known for its rolling hills and scenic waters while the park itself draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. The famous Indian Springs Hotel, site of the treaty signing, still stands after nearly 200 years as a window into the past while a brand new, state-of-the-art amphitheater has recently opened, hosting musical events that have been well attended. The area is also home of the Indian Springs Holiness Campground, one of the oldest in Georgia.

The new station will be the first expansion of the Butts County Fire Department since the mid 1990’s, when two new stations were added in the Stark and McKibben communities. One new station at Worthville was constructed in 2012 but was a replacement to a deficient structure that had been used for decades. Placing a station at this location will provide emergency coverage around the clock to an area of the County that has never had full-time coverage before, bringing it in line with other areas of the county that do have it.

“For many years, we have relied on the volunteer firefighter resources from the City of Flovilla” remarked Chairman Roger McDaniel in his comments on Tuesday. “We are greatly appreciative of what they have been able to do for this part of Butts County for a long time but we need to step up and do more for this district and the citizens of Flovilla, Indian Springs and the areas in southern Butts County that don’t enjoy the same full-time fire protection that others have in the County” he stated.

Bids on materials are being received this week and will be reviewed by the project building team, headed by Director of Operations Douglas Manning. Grading has already been completed on the site and he expects the building to rise shortly in the weeks ahead.

County Administrator’s Annual Report

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Presented below is the Butts County Annual Report by County Administrator Michael Brewer covering the Fiscal Year of July 1, 2013 through June 30th, 2014. Please click on the link to access the report.

https://buttscountyga.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/annualreportfy2014.pdf

July 21, 2014 – Called Meeting

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Opening:

A called meeting of the Butts County Board of Commissioners was called to order at 5:04 PM, Thursday on July 21, 2014 in the C. Wayne King Auditorium, Jackson, Georgia by Chairman, Roger McDaniel. Vice Chairman Henderson led the invocation.

Present:

Roger D. McDaniel, Chairman
Robert L. Henderson, Sr., Vice-Chairman
J. Keith Douglas, Commissioner
Mike Patterson, Commissioner
Michael Brewer, County Administrator
Michael O’Quinn, County Attorney

Absent:

G.S. “Gator” Hodges, Commissioner
Crystal Griggs-Epps, County Clerk

 

Approval of Docket

Item 2014-07-150       Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve the agenda; Commissioner Patterson seconded the motion. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

 

New Business

Item 2014-07-151       Vice Chairman Henderson made a motion to enter into executive session, Commissioner Douglas seconded. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

Item 2014-07-152       Commissioner Douglas made a motion to reconvene back into the meeting; Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 3-0, motion carried unanimously. Mike O’Quinn stated a personnel matter was discussed during executive session involving two County employees. Chairman McDaniel left the meeting early at 6:00PM.

Item 2014-07-153       Commissioner Douglas made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

July 14, 2014 – Regular Meeting

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Opening:

A regular meeting of the Butts County Board of Commissioners was called to order at 6:00 PM, Monday, July 14, 2014 in the C. Wayne King Auditorium, Jackson, Georgia by Chairman Roger McDaniel. Commissioners present at this time were McDaniel, Henderson, Hodges, Douglas, and Patterson. Vice Chairman Henderson led the invocation.

Present:

Roger D. McDaniel, Chairman
Robert L. Henderson, Sr., Vice-Chairman
G.S. “Gator” Hodges, Commissioner
J. Keith Douglas, Commissioner
Mike Patterson, Commissioner
Michael Brewer, County Administrator
Crystal Griggs-Epps, County Clerk
Michael O’Quinn, County Attorney

 

Approval of Docket

 2014-07-130    Michael Brewer requested to table item #2014-07-041 Blue Sombrero LLC from the agenda. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to approve the agenda with change, Commissioner Hodges seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-131    Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve the minutes from June 5th and June 9th, Commissioner Hodges seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

Presentations:  Proclamations were presented to Merrilee Parson and Kaitlyn Eidson for excelling at the recent Trampoline and Tumbling National Competition. Commissioner Hodges made a motion to approve the proclamation for Merrilee Parson, Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to approve the proclamation for Kaitlyn Eidson, Commissioner Hodges seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

 

New Business

2014-07-132    Christy Lawson presented Case #06-01-2014 – Joe L. Knight requesting a rezoning from AR to R-2. Mr. Knight is proposing 19 single family residential units and 150-foot non disturbed buffer along the rear property line due to wetlands on Paul Maddox Road in Jackson, GA. Mr. Knight initially made the proposal in December 2011 in which the Planning and Zoning Commission agreed to it with conditions; however the Board of Commissioners did not approve the request. In present time, the Planning and Zoning Commission conditions still applies which are: preliminary plat not to be submitted for review before the water pressure issue is resolved, no more than two unsold homes at one time on the property and the initial sale be owner occupied purchaser, and there will need to be an 8-foot planted berm to help screen the view.

The applicant’s attorney, Mr. Butler stated that most of the neighbors are concerned with building 19 homes prematurely without solving the water issue; however, most neighbors are on well water. Mr. Knight has agreed to follow all conditions recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Chairman McDaniel opened the Public Hearing. Mr. O’Quinn asked if anyone wanted to speak in favor of the proposal; which no one stood to speak in favor; however, many residents on Paul Maddox road stood to speak in opposition of the proposal. Some of the concerns were the appearance of the newly built homes, the increased amount of traffic it will bring, increased crime in the area, and a decrease in the value of homes. Both lawyers were given a minute to speak in closing to the Board before the Public Hearing was closed by Chairman McDaniel. Mr. O’Quinn stated that there is a legitimate concern with the amount of traffic the additional homes will bring to the road ultimately making it a public safety concern; therefore, this could possibly be a legitimate reason to say no. Each lawyer was given an additional minute to respond to the traffic concern.

Commissioner Patterson made a motion to postpone the request until the water pressure issue could be corrected; Henderson seconded. Vote 4-1 with Hodges opposed.

2014-07-133    Christy Lawson requested to amend the County’s Alcohol Regulations. Mrs. Lawson stated it has been a first come, first serve basis; verbiage needs to state as long as businesses are in compliance with current regulations of the Butts County Zoning Ordinance and Alcohol Ordinance that they can continue to renew their licenses. Mr. O’Quinn recommends this to be the 1st reading. Commissioner Douglas made a motion to let this be the 1st reading and allow 30 days for the public to review; Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 4-0 with Vice Chairman Henderson abstaining.

2014-07-134    Christy Lawson requested to amend the County’s Vacant Structure Ordinance. According to House Bill 110, we cannot request certain information and fees; therefore we need to revamp the current ordinance in order to be in compliance. Mr. O’Quinn recommended waving the 2nd reading due to public necessity. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to approve the requested amendment, Commissioner Douglas seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-135    Mike O’Quinn addressed the update on Letsonville proposal item by informing the Board that in order to establish an unincorporated community in the County, a resolution conferring a ceremonial title to the community within a designated boundary is needed, and as part of that resolution an advisory body of citizens could be created that would speak for that community. Mr. O’Quinn also added if the Board wants to consider this, he suggest advertising the Board’s intention to do so and also advertising a Public Hearing. Signage will need to be placed by the County’s road department or GDOT. Michael Brewer added that we definitely need to have the exact boundaries to make sure it does not conflict with any other unincorporated communities. The County will also have to pay the cost of advertising and have documents available in the Administration Building for the public to review. Mr. O’Quinn made a suggestion of drawing up a resolution and adding it on the agenda for September and advertising a Public Hearing in connection with the resolution. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to proceed with coming up with parameters by which a small community can name itself and to investigate/evaluate the cost associated with possibly establishing this community, Henderson seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-136    Towaliga Circuit Public Defender, Doug Smith presented the contract for Indigent Defense Services to the Board. Mr. Smith stated that basically the contract states that he is providing indigent defense in accordance with the principles of the Standards Council and the Constitution and that the county agrees to set aside the amount of money stated in the contract to fund the county funded employees. This gives the State the idea that the office is being funded correctly and staffed appropriately. Mr. Smith also spoke of the added addendum to the contract. Commissioner Patterson then questioned the Public Defender’s requested dollar amount; in which Mr. Smith replied he is asking for the amount he will need to handle cases efficiently and to avoid any suit. Mr. Smith also added that handling appellate cases is a time intensive process. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to postpone until next month to talk to the Sheriff and District Attorney, motion died due to lack of a second. Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve the contract, Vice Chairman Henderson seconded. Vote 3-1 with Commissioner Patterson opposed and Commissioner Hodges abstained.

2014-07-137    Doug Smith presented the application to retain funds agenda item. He stated that everyone is required to pay a $50.00 application fee within 90 days of representation. The counties and states split the application money; however, there is a procedure of showing the Standards Council that there’s ability for the counties to retain the entire $50.00. Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve the application to retain funds, Vice Chairman Henderson seconded. Vote 3-1 with Commissioner Patterson opposed and Commissioner Hodges abstaining.

2014-07-138    Doug Smith presented the contract for Indigent Defense for Juvenile Deprivation Actions in which he stated that this contract is separate from the Indigent Defense Services Contract. This contract is for the provision of indigent defense for juvenile deprivation actions pending in the Juvenile Court of Butts County. Commissioner Douglas made motion to approve contract, Vice Chairman Henderson seconded. Vote 4-1 with Commissioner Patterson opposed.

2014-07-139    Chief Mike Wilson requested for the Board to authorize the Chairman to sign mutual aid agreements. Chief Wilson stated all agreements are out dated and need to be updated with new signatures.     Commissioner Hodges made a motion to approve, Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-140    Chiquita Barkley requested for the approval of a credit card for Leisure Services which would only be used during traveling out of state. Commissioner Douglas made a motion, Commissioner Hodges seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-142    Marty Long asked the Board to grant a renewal for the County’s Work Detail Agreement with the Georgia Department of Corrections. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to approve, Commissioner Hodges seconded for discussion. Commissioner Hodges asked if there was any kind of increase from the dollar amount from last year. Mr. Long confirmed that there was no increase. Vote 4-0 with Douglas abstained.

2014-07-143    Doug Manning requested for the Board to approve the contract recommendation of Jackson Roofing Solutions for the roof repairs and replacement for the detention center roof. Mr. Manning stated that his staff had gone through the proper procurement procedures in identifying this bidder. Commissioner Hodges asked Mr. Manning to explain why the manufacturer/roofing material was specified and was it necessary to remove the old roof before applying the new roof. Mr. Manning stated that it is not necessarily the manufacturer; it is the process and how best to address this roof situation. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to approve, Commissioner Hodges seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-144    Doug Manning requested for the Board to approve the contract recommendation of Jackson Roofing Solutions for the roof repairs and replacement for the recreation center roof. Mr. Manning advised the Board that the culprit for the leaks is the skylights; therefore Mr. Manning and staff are requesting the skylights be sealed before resurfacing the roof. Commissioner Hodges made a motion to approve contract, Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-145    Joe Brown, a citizen of Butts County and a County Commissioner elect (to take office January 1, 2015) addressed the Board to discuss the Flovilla Firehouse Project which was approved during a previous meeting held this year. Mr. Brown proposed a freeze on the project for 60 days to renegotiate with the City of Flovilla. Vice Chairman Henderson stated that the Board had worked tirelessly with Flovilla over a period of 12 ½ months and that we cannot do if they don’t want us there. Commissioner Hodges added he sleeps well at night because he truly believes he exhausted every opportunity.

2014-07-146    Alton Stewart made a comment in favor of building the firehouse in the City of Flovilla.

Chris Hunt addressed the Board about the burned down house and old dilapidated camper near his home. He asked is there anything the County could do to make the owner clean up the property. Chairman McDaniel assured Mr. Hunt that the County is currently working on dilapidated houses and properties.

2014-07-147    Commissioner Douglas made a motion to go into executive session, Commissioner Hodges seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-148    Hodges made a motion to reconvene into the regular meeting, Douglas seconded. Vote 5-0, motion carried unanimously. Mr. O’Quinn state that two pending litigations were discussed in the executive session.

2014-07-149    Commissioner Patterson made a motion to adjourn, Commissioner Douglas seconded. Vote 5-0; motion carried unanimously.