The process was kicked into gear Tuesday night when board members voted to accept Allen Bell Architecture’s quote of $4,900 to draw a conceptual plan to configure the space so the County Police Department can share the building.
Commissioner Larry Reynolds, vice chairman, pointed out the group discussed facility upgrades during a recent retreat.
“It is now time to move forward with this plan,” he said. “One way or another, Polk County will utilize the GSP building. We need to reclaim it for our use.”
A request for 2008 and proposed 2014 SPLOST funds, submitted by President Eric McDonald, Development Authority of Polk County (DAPC), will be reviewed and a decision made at the March board meeting.
Commission Chair Cleve Hartley said the board needs more time to consider the request. “We plan to meet with Eric McDonald before a decision is made,” he said.
McDonald acknowledged that DAPC is “asking for a lot of money” ($1.7 million) to pay for a 2012-2014 capital outlay priority list.
“We will meet with board members,” he said. “We need to be headed in the same direction.”
Commissioner Jason Ward said the County is currently working on its five-year facilities plan. “We want to consider how this request will fit in with what is already on the table,” he said.
The Board is also in favor of the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission setting up a non-profit organization for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
The NSP program allows for using available grant money to purchase distressed properties, renovate the homes and sell the real estate to lower income individuals and families in an effort to stabilize home values and provide affordable housing.
“It is similar to a program that was utilized by the County several years ago,” said Manager Clinton Lester.
During the February meeting, the group also approved purchase of law enforcement vehicles from SPLOST funds. Four Dodge Chargers for the Polk Police Department and three for the Sheriff’s Department will be bought from Carl Gregory Dodge, Columbus, for $22,886 each.
In other business, the group:
Voted to accept the recommendation of Randy Lacey, public safety coordinator, to move an existing fire hydrant closer to Deer Field Estates, off Adams Road, and place a dry one across the creek at the end of the subdivision.
Approved changes in Public Works Department schedule policy: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday during winter and from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday in summer. Friday would be used as makeup day if needed. Changes would be more cost effective and efficient.
Agreed to restrict truck traffic (with 6 wheels) on Brock Road near Rockmart.
Gave a green light to the bid of $217,900, submitted by New World Systems to replace financial software platform.
Voted to construct a gate at the Martin Trail Head Parking lot on Silver Comet Trail for security reasons.
Heard a budget update from Lester, who said property tax collections are at 6.4 percent, which is about $300,000 lower than was collected at the same time last year.
“December to February numbers have not gained any steam,” he said. “The good news is that motor vehicle and SPLOST collections are up.