Marshall Sayer, the chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, was our guest speaker at the June 20 Hart County Property Owners’ Assoc. meeting. The sponsor of the meeting providing the refreshments was Pedego Electric Bikes, located across the street from Ace Hardware. Marshall started out covering 3 subjects.
The first was that the property assessments will be mailed out by June 21, and commented that our subject, ASSESSMENTS, for our July meeting, was timely.
The second was that the county has purchased and implemented a new system, SCAN, for EMS dispatching. The system will pinpoint the location of a caller even if the call is from a cell phone, not at the caller’s home address. This will significantly speed up getting assistance to someone in need. While on the subject of EMS, Marshall noted that the county has completely recovered from the distress of COVID-19. The county has purchased one new and two used trucks. Certified EMS medics are hard to come by, so the county has hired several persons who can only drive trucks and take vitals, and we are no longer short-handed. The medics got a raise, and the county now covers the cost of additional training for advanced certifications. This has dramatically improved morale, even though some have gone for two years without a vacation. The EMS has three shifts with a total of 12 personnel.
The third subject was that the county would ask citizens to vote on a TSPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Sales Tax). This 5-year endeavor would focus on paving some county dirt roads and repairing and paving other roads. Like all other SPLOST programs, the county must share the revenue with the Cities of Hartwell, Bowersville, Royston, and Cannon. Given the poor conditions of many county roads, it is necessary to either take on a TSPLOST or raise the millage rate for property taxes. This TSPLOST would bring the county sales tax to 8%. He pointed out that the existing LOST sales tax dedicated to reducing property taxes effectively reduces our taxes by over three mills.
This proposal generated considerable discussion among those members in attendance. All agreed that the roads are in very bad shape and deteriorating. Tom Komatz, a former road builder, talked about losing some roads if they are not repaired soon. He volunteered to survey the conditions of the 500 miles of county roads. There were no negative comments regarding the TSPLOST proposal.
In response to a question, the subdivision moratorium is coming up on its second birthday and will expire in July. The commissioners have not yet developed a complete subdivision ordinance, so the moratorium will probably be extended at the next meeting.
In response to another question, the county has retained a contractor to perform building inspections on an as-called basis. A contractor is less costly than hiring a county inspector, even though the fee money leaves the county.
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