Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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This online news website is owned and operated by Becky Watts. The Editor can be reached at 770-468-7583 or at editor(at)PikeCountyTimes(dot)com. Pike County Times is a website for citizens to keep up with local events and stay informed about Pike County government. It began on November 13, 2006 as a watchdog on county government and has turned into an online newspaper.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022 – 9:00 a.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia
Town Hall Meeting at 8:45 a.m.

Click here to see the documents that have been uploaded with the agenda on the Pike County government page.

All commissioners, Clerk Blount, CM Rogers, County Attorney Rob Morton.

1. CALL TO ORDER ...... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

2. INVOCATION ...... Keith Ford

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ...... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. § 50-14-1 (e) (1))

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

5. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2))

a. Minutes of the November 29, 2022, 2022, Regular Monthly Meeting.

b. Minutes of the November 29, 2022, Executive Session.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.



a. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities, including a Revenue/Expenditure Statement for all departments and a summary check register.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

b. County Manager Report

Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ...... $3,084,311.01
Fire Dept. Donations ...... $7,521.04
Cash Reserve Account ...... $467,532.59
Jail Fund ...... $38,524.96
E-911 Fund ...... $479,551.35
DATE Fund ...... $41,569.50
Juvenile Court Fund ...... $13,589.94
Residential Impact Fee ...... $1,045,309.91
Commercial Impact Fees ...... $166,477.07
C.A.I.P FUND ...... $178,749.67
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2016 ...... $205,666.15
L.M.IG. Grant (DOT) ...... $721,738.73

c. County Manager Comment

Fire truck purchase. 2008 Pierce. A little newer than those currently in service. The Blackmon Road fire station now has a truck. $40,000+ purchase. Saved a lot of money. The fire chief and one of the deputy chiefs talked to those that they knew over there.

Auditors. Our auditors are teamed up with a group from McDonough. Driver and Adams is still our auditor. Filed an extension to finish up in January.

Christmas Bicentennial Parade and Craft Fair. Went over well. Thanked everyone who had a part in this. The Chamber played a huge part in this.

Finance Position for the County. This is still open.

HR Position. This should be filled very shortly.

Roads. There are quite a few roads that are saturated. Public Works is doing a great job of keeping our roads open. Daniel and Dunn are one way streets because cross drains have failed. One way streets.

Tanyard Road. CDBG and SPLOST. Denied on the first application. We are going to do this again with engineering with hopes award next go around. First preliminary drawings are done. Trying to do this with as little impact as possible on citizens.

Hillstreet and Hwy 18 Intersection. Probably been going on for 20 years. DOT has been very slow on this. Talked about it 1 ½ years ago. Surveyor looked at this. Way to turn the road and doing a de-cel lane where the road starts. Less than 100 feet into the other property.

Rain. One inch to 1 ½ inches of road expected later this week. Wet roads impact what we can and can’t do. If you have a problem, let the county know so they can put down gravel. If ditching is needed though, temporary fix with a permanent fix later on.

d. Commissioner Reports

Commissioner Tim Daniel. Good job with the parade and festivities. Thank you to all involved. Great job!

Commissioner Tim Guy. Added Anthony Road to the list. Water running across the road.

Commissioner Jason Proctor. Said good job on the parade. Got lots of compliments on it. Thanked Public Works for work on McCard Lake Road. Citizens have been calling to say thanks.

Commissioner James Jenkins. Thanked Public Works for work on Blanton Mill. Citizens have been calling to say thank you.

Spending limits brought up at last meeting. The Christmas Tree and the fireworks. The citizens look to us for money being spent. I didn’t know about either one before it was done. The others didn’t know either. We didn’t know about it. He said that this is to address the fact that people are seeing this on Facebook and complaining to the commissioners about the tree. [Note from the Editor: Yes, I put a picture of the tree and the amount that was paid for it on Facebook because the people of this county deserve to know what our tax dollars are being used for. Simply said, the county commissioners are responsible for the actions of the county manager who works for them -- and not the other way around. To read in depth from open records about the purchase of the Christmas tree and fireworks, go to www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC7.26.22.html and look for the comments in blue.]

Fireworks. Jenkins said he was told in the last meeting that the check for $7,500 was not made to Christ Chapel. That is correct. However, he said that this boils down to communication. The check was written to Pyrotechnico, the fireworks company.

“Contribution to Christ Chapel – Fireworks” is written on the disposition. Requisition to Christ Chapel Church. This is a violation of state law that was brought up in a meeting a month or two ago. He didn’t think that this was intentional but said communication would have helped. He asked County Attorney Morton if BOC should have documentation in a file on this regarding the Gratuity Clause so if the state gets ahold of this, it would show that we didn’t approve it or authorize it. Morton said that the Board can did this if that is what they want to do. Motion to put something in writing on this. Motion died for lack of a second. [Note from the Editor: Chairman Briar Johnson cannot second a motion. He would only be able to vote after Commissioners Jason Proctor, Tim Guy, or Tim Daniel made the second… which did not happen.]

Chairman Johnson asked who would initiate this. The county, the attorney? Jenkins said that he wants to be protected from this and didn’t think that this was on purpose, but it happened. Commissioner Tim Guy asked who signed the check: Commissioner Proctor and Chairman Johnson. Commissioner Tim Daniel said that it sounded to him like it was miscoded, and it’s not against state law to shoot fireworks. Chairman Johnson said that the requisition was incorrect and it was coded incorrectly. Proctor agreed. [Note from the Editor: So the county manager broke state law because he chose not to communicate about the fireworks with the Board or the county attorney, and there is not even a write up on the situation to ensure that this doesn’t happen again or to protect the county from possible repercussions regarding this expenditure. I didn’t say that he broke state law on purpose either, but there is a problem with CM Rogers not telling commissioners what he is doing or keeping them in the loop after he has spent money or made decisions that they need to be a part of. If actions don’t have consequences, mark my words that this will happen again because the commissioners gave their evaluations of the county manager back in May, and he is still not communicating like they have asked. This will be in an article all by itself. PLEASE NOTE: I deliberately held off from asking for the evaluation information when it came out because I thought that the county manager was in the process of turning a new leaf when it came to his duties with the county. That is before the $875 lock that was put on a door in the courthouse without even the courtesy of a conversation with the elected official whose records are behind that door or bothering to clean up the mess with courthouse security that was made by his actions and was resolved in meetings between multiple elected officials without any interaction from the county manager. (www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC10.25.22.html Scroll down to the blue.

Final note: It should not be so difficult for our county manager to follow the rules (including local and state law) and treat people like he wants to be treated. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record… but somebody needs to be saying it until something is actually done about it. Actions speak much louder than words.]

Chairman Briar Johnson. Next meeting is January 11. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. He was here for the Bicentennial Parade. It was a great event.

One position available. The Agribusiness Board is still available. Chestnut Oaks is one of their responsibilities. Mark Camp is the head of this board.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners




a. Consider one appointment to the J. Joel Edwards Library Board to fill a three-year term, set to expire December 31, 2025. Applicant has met criteria.

Grant Rowe. Motion to appoint Grant Rowe. Approved 5-0.

b. Consider one appointment to the Three Rivers Regional Commission Board to fill a one-year term, set to expire December 31, 2023. Applicant has met criteria.

Ric Calhoun and Ken Pullin. Recommendation is to reappoint Ric Calhoun. Approved 5-0.

c. Consider one appointment to the Pike County Industrial Development Authority Board to fill a four-year term, set to expire December 31, 2026. Applicant has met criteria.

David Nix and Ken Pullin. IDA Board recommends reappointment of David Nix. Approved 5-0.

d. Consider one appointment to the McIntosh Trail Community Service Board to fill a three-year term, set to expire December 31, 2025. Applicant has met criteria.

Fred Lacey. Motion to appoint Fred Lacey. Approved 5-0.

e. Consider one appointment to the Pike County Water and Sewerage Authority to fill a five-year term, set to expire December 31, 2027. Applicant has met criteria.

John Blakeney. Motion to reappoint John Blakeney. Approved 5-0.

f. Consider two appointments to the Agribusiness Authority Board to fill a three-year term, set to expire December 31, 2025. Applicants have met criteria.

Mark Camp and William Cloy. Motion to reappoint Camp and Cloy. One spot still open. Approved 5-0.

g. Consider two appointments to the Two Rivers RC & D Council to fill a one-year term, set to expire December 31, 2023. Applicants have met criteria.

Todd Goolsby and Rodney Hilley. Motion to reappoint Hilley and appoint Goolsby. Approved 5-0.

h. Consider three appointments to the Pike County Joint Board of Elections and Registration to fill a four-year term, set to expire December 31, 2026. Applicants have met criteria.

Lynn Vickers, Harold O’Baner and Joe Parks. Motion to reappoint all three. Approved 5-0.

i. Approve/deny renewal of alcohol license (Retail Sales – beer and wine) for Parvez Dawoodani d/b/a Mountain View Convenience Store, 3181 Hwy 19 South, Meansville, GA. Applicant has met criteria.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

j. First Reading of Text Amendment the Pike County Code of Ordinances Title III: Administration, Chapter 35 County Policies, Section 35.09 Financial Policies.

Motion to set this at the last meeting. 1st reading to modify. Proctor asked about what happens for items over $5,000. CM Rogers doesn’t know the answer on this. Discussion. Rogers had planned to make some comments. He sees some issues with the vague wording on this. Fixed and anticipated costs. Those can be interpreted in different ways. There could be some problems with this in the future. Instances with the fire truck, without a special called meeting, this could be a problem. One commissioner, two commissioner, etc. Guy – Can we address issues after the first meeting? Yes. Proctor – We probably need to look at all of our ordinances. $1,000 to $5,000. Anything over $25,000 supposed to be public bid-not just 3 bids. Might need to raise this. The entire ordinance needs to be looked at. There are some things that we are not doing now, and some things we’re doing that he doesn’t think we should be doing. Rogers said we try to do as much competitive bidding as possible to be as open with funds as possible because that is what citizens expect. Some of this comes from state law for bidding processes, etc. Proctor pointed out with a public bid that it costs the county money to advertise, etc.

Rogers – Availability (for a meeting) is an issue right now. Those are valid concerns. Proctor – Asked about how action would need to be taken like with a special called meeting. Morton – You cannot take an action outside of a public meeting. Per the discussion, this was reviewed on fixed cost in the draft. You can make the policy what you want. The financial policies are in place are from years ago. One sentence at the top talks about public works contracts as the reference. But over the years because it’s combined in that section for public works, it has been done for everything. Public Works contracts are governed by state law, and the state has raised that to $100,000. These policies have been in place for years. Has not been questioned in the past. Public Works versus regular business can be fixed in a workshop or however.

The first reading is based on the last meeting. Fixed costs will not be hindered by this. Public Works can be singled out if needed. But Morton understood that things that were not a part of the budget process would be put on an agenda. If you need to have a called meeting, you can. The firetruck is a prime example of a possible issue though. You would have to meet the 24 hour notice provision to have a called meeting, and he was in a bidding war for the truck. It would be difficult to have done this with a policy like this because it wouldn’t constitute an emergency so it would require 24 hours notice for a special called meeting. More discussion. What is customary for fixed cost? Fuel cost is a fixed cost and would not be included in the $5,000 limit.

Rogers talked this through for himself and commissioners. Fireworks and tree. To me, the fireworks have been going on for years. He said that even though it is one time a year, it could be considered a fixed cost. So now we’re just talking about the tree. I’m really curious why we are hindering the county over one item that has been a problem over the years. Especially when the surrounding counties are doing the opposite. It seems kind of confusing to me.

Johnson said that the county clerk, county manager, and staff work very hard to run this county every day. The intent is not to hinder them in any way. If we are concerned about called meetings, we have to have 3 commissioners here. In my opinion, that is what we are elected to do and this is our job. I think we should approve this and look at it again in depth. He acknowledged that a lot of other counties have $25,000 or $50,000 for their limit on spending for the county manager. For him, it’s about communication. Did we ever hear what the final bid was on the fire truck? We did not know that. A simple text or phone call could have accomplished that. We saved a lot of money getting a $700,000 to $800,000 truck for this amount of money. Not trying to micromanage. All we’re wanting is to get some communication and find out what is going on. Let us know ahead of time. He was totally in the dark about past expenditures. He thought that fireworks paid for out of the Concession Fund in 2017 because Commissioners said no to the Rec Authority $8,000 then. He called the chairman of the board and found out that since then, it’s been a line item as Special Events. This is the fireworks. He didn’t know that. It was cut in prior years, and they didn’t get it this year because they cut it for their 10% of the budget like Rogers asked every department to do so the budget could be reduced by 10%. There needs to be some kind of communication so the commissioners know what is going on. Said that Rogers does a fabulous job, but he said that commissioners need to know what is going on before they get phone calls about it. It doesn’t take anything to send a text or an email. Said that he isn’t mad about a $40,000 fire truck, and that this against the county manager. Talk to us. Said that Jenkins wants to see something in the file on fireworks to protect the county. I support that. He also said that he isn’t opposed to going back to how we did things before if there is something in the file to explain what happened. This isn’t about blame. It is state law. He made a mistake. Here is what happened if something comes back on us and we’re asked What did we do? Nothing. Spalding County went from $25,000 to $50,000, but Steve Ledbetter communicates with his commissioners.

Rogers then asked, So we need to change policy because of the lack of communication? Johnson said, In part because this has been an ongoing issue for two years. This was discussed in the evaluation process. This is not to hinder Brandon. It’s to put our foot down so we know what is going on. So we know ahead of time what is going on. Tim Daniel said that if you had said this two weeks ago, we wouldn’t be doing this right now. Johnson said that they may move forward and decide not to the second reading, but also said that we may have to look it all over with policy. Proctor said that we probably need to look at other counties and check the limits with the state. Also said that he doesn’t have a problem with special called meetings if we need them. Jenkins said that a lot of this could be covered in weekly reports.

Motion for a 1st reading to give us some time to address things. Guy/Jenkins. Discussion: Morton. Your existing policy. County pays weekly on Tuesday. Payment requests must be made in that time frame. CM can issue special checks up to a maximum of $1,000. Also read that the State Attorney General's Office states that public agencies like counties are subject to Georgia’s Constitution with gratuities: “Absent any specific, authorizing statute, the payment of entertainment expenses will be unauthorized. Indeed, such an expenditure would constitute a gratuity in violation of the Georgia Constitution.” He wanted to clarify this for the commissioners.

Tim Daniel asked how city governments put on fireworks shows. It happens all over the state of Georgia. Rogers said that there are a lot of ways to interpret this, and it’s not clear. Johnson said that many cities get sponsorships for fireworks. He thanked Morton for his work on this. Rogers asked to make a point for commissioners and said that he understands what y’all are saying and I hope that you understand that what you are going to do regardless of the reasoning, you ARE going to cause issues in the future with this. We have a long time to think about this. It will happen. I know that you sit here and say that you’re ok with special called meetings, but it’s hard to get a quorum. Keep those things in mind. Johnson said that we have over a month to look at this. We need to get his attention and make some things happen over the next month. Approved 4-1 with Daniel opposed.

k. Second Reading of Text Amendment of the Pike County Code of Ordinances Title III: Administration, Chapter 30 Board of Commissioners, Section 30.03 (C)(2).

Hiring and firing. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0. [Note from the Editor: The county manager does the hiring of department heads with a vote from commissioners according to our ordinances. This requires a vote from the commissioners in order for the county manager to fire a department head.]

l. Second reading of the proposed text amendments intended to change all references in the Pike County Code to Planning Commission (PC) and Board of Appeals (BOA) to the new Pike Zoning Board (PZB).

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

m. Consider purchase of a KB6 Debris Blower from Greenville Turf and Tractor in the amount of $13,300 to be paid out of Public Works Impact Fees.

We had a demo last year. Goolsby has come up to something similar to the demo. This will help with the maintenance on the roads with scraping. Need to clean off before using the blade on the road. Tried to get similar quotes on this. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

n. Consider purchase of a Denis Climaf mulching head attachment in the amount of $41,812 to be paid out of Public Works Impact Fees.

This will simplify their work. It will hook up to the skid skeer. Goolsby’s recommendation to go with the one who beat them on $12. Motion to approve. Proctor -Supposed to be publicly advertised, etc. Need to review our policies. Johnson – Thanked Goolsby for being here and advising them. Approved 5-0.

o. Discussion of the Planning and Development Fee Schedule.

Consider the Planning and Zoning Schedule. When these schedules were completed with Planning and Zoning, Jeremy Gilbert went to surrounding counties and their numbers are outdated because they have gone up again as far as fees go. New house inspections, etc. are costing the citizens money. CM they should bring in as much money as they spend. It should not be a burden to the citizens when things are done in the county. Proctor – How does this work? When does it go into effect? CM Rogers and Morton said that this could go into effect today or tomorrow.

Proctor – Impact Fees are upside down too. CM Rogers – Found a missing piece of information yesterday. 3 or 4 years ago. We did some estimates on how things were going for the county. We started talking about percentages to each department. Jeremy found the missing links. Paragon was for Impact Fees to be $5,000 to $6,000 per home rather than $2400. We can review and start preparing for the long term. One surrounding county is $3500. It will be going up. Theirs was recommended for $11,000. Though they may not go that high. CM Rogers said that a quick change can be done in 2 to 3 months. Overall complete may take a year. Proctor said that we can adjust in 3 months’ time. Needs to go to Planning and Zoning too. Allocations can be changed too. We just did one but may need to look at this again. Talked about Water and Sewer and Animal Control. Need a complete methodology report. It was $50,000 to get this done before. Could change impact fees in 90 days and do the rest in the next year.

Proctor asked if Jeremy’s Planning and Zoning Board was able to review this yet. No. Said that this is in line with other jurisdictions. Jeremy said that they are up to 6 inspections on a $100 remodel fee on one particular inspection. The way that we are set up now is a burden to taxpayers.

Motion for a 90 day moratorium on minor and major subdivisions to make sure that we are not upside down on fees. It’s not fair to our citizens because we are not prepared for our growth. Single houses are the issue. We are upside down and the school is too. Proctor/Guy. Gilbert asked if this was on minor and major subdivisions. Just the addition of new lots but would not allow the stoppage of permits. Proctor wants a moratorium on everything new for 90 days including rezoning. Redo motion. Motion for 90 day minor and major on the issuance of new building permits. Daniel – Asked about individuals. Morton. If a family presents a division of property for a mother in law or son, it would apply. Any existing lot that does not need a division of property. Can be less than 90 days if they can get this done quicker. No building permits issued period? All building permits for minor or major subdivisions. Lots of discussion. Daniel said to put on subdivisions. Those who have already been approved won’t be affected. Proctor said that they need to be ready to approve by next meeting or even do today.

Motion for a 90 day moratorium on major and minor subdivisions and any building permits related to any new subdivisions. Approved 5-0. [Note from the Editor: I asked for a clarification to be sure that I have things down correctly. Planning and Development Director Jeremy Gilbert said this: “The moratorium is for new submittals of minor and major subdivision plats and the building permits for new subdivision plats that have not already been approved. If a plat has already been approved then a building permit can still be issued. However, if a plat is in the process now they can continue with the approval process but would not be able to pull building permits until the moratorium is lifted. We are still accepting rezoning, special exception and variance applications as normal. Any existing residential rezoning application that we have will still be heard for the zoning but they will not be able to submit the preliminary or final plat until after the moratorium ends. Currently the moratorium is set for 90 days or until the impact fees are evaluated and any changes are approved by the BOC.”]

Motion to approve the fee schedule immediately. Discussion: Can change this if needed. Gilbert asked about plat redraw. Maybe per lot? Per acre would capitalize on larger tracts of land rather than by lot. Residential repair. Rogers said that this is more of a safety thing. Jeremy said that this would be for tracking for the county. A majority of jurisdictions don’t do a reroof permit. Motion to approve fee schedule and refer to Jeremy on questions. Not trying to stop building. Just trying to keep the citizens of the county from paying for new building. Morton said that this includes the Chairman signing this. Approved 5-0.

p. Discussion of the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB).

Goolsby and Rogers worked on this. Asked the Board to allow us to get a loan for our LMIG projects $4,414,000. Figure that we’ll get 90% of these done in the first 6 months. Interest rate is extremely low. 2.26%. Increases are coming for rock, fuel, labor, etc. We can save a tremendous amount of money by doing quicker. We can repay with LMIG funding. 16 roads left. 33.77 miles that we could do in a year versus 7 or 8 years. Bumped out to 2030. No guarantee on this. We can concentrate on SPLOST projects after this. $138,000 a mile to do this project. Cook Road is an issue and won’t make it until 2030. Motion to apply for this loan and grant for 16 roads scheduled for LMIG. Approved 5-0.

q. Approve/deny final FY 2021-2022 Budget Amendments.

Tara Winstead prepared this for the upcoming audit. These budgeted amounts need to be paid so we can update our budget, etc. Each item needs to be on the books. Anything that wasn’t specifically budgeted has to be notated. We need to go ahead and make budget amendments during the meetings when we make motions like paying for something that is not already in the budget. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

r. Approve/deny quarterly FY 2022-2023 Budget Amendments.

Quarterly. This is for this year’s current budget. Winstead worked on last year. Rogers worked on this year. Expenses have to be tied to revenues because we have a balanced budget. Motion to approve 2022-2023 budget amendments. Approved 5-0.

s. Approve/deny Pike County Department of Family and Children Services County Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 Agreement.

Recommend look at item 4 any advanced funds disposed of as follows… They always want to retain these funds for special projects. We’ve always asked them to return all unused funds and do not want to change that. This changes #5 so they have to have funds to cover any deficits that they have. Motion to go with CM recommendation to approve with any unused funds being returned to the commissioners. Approved 5-0.

10. PUBLIC COMMENT – (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

Mr. Grizzard is not present.

Johnson going back to Tanyard Road. There are two plans. He doesn’t want to hurt ourselves down the road by cutting corners. We need to do this for the long run. Cook Road is an example of cutting corners. Rogers said that we are holding them to our ordinances on these roads.


Executive Session. 11:02 a.m.

a. County Manager Brandon Rogers requests an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a public officer or employee or interviewing applicants for the position of the executive head of an agency, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(b)(2), germane to personnel.


Agenda subject to revision.

Back in session. 11:16 a.m.

Rogers asked the Board to consider offering Brook Gaddy the HR position. One week vacation and insurance on start date. Retirement for previous time included with her long-term employment. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

Adjourned 11:17 a.m.

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