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Editor Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
Welcome to Pike County Times.com

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, May 10, 2023 – 8:00 a.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia

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

All 5 commissioners were present James Jenkins, Jason Proctor, Tim Guy, Tim Daniel, Briar Johnson, County Clerk Angela Blount, County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

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

2. INVOCATION ....... Silent Invocation

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.


a. Discussion of the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Budget.

Rogers. Made some suggestions on what to discuss: salaries, COLA’s, animal control, IDA MOU, ARPA funding, and zoning and code updates. All have budget constraints.


The counties can claim up to $10 million in lost revenues from COVID. He recommends this and the auditors said that we can have a single audit next year and can finish up this year's audit. It does not have to affect any of the projects. ARPA can still be used on water, sewer, broadband and can use it for something else. $3.1 million and some change left in the fund. He highly recommends this. The motion and votes will made later on. Johnson said that we need to let the public know what the money will be used for, etc.

The rule allows any county to use up to $10 million with no conditions. There are no restrictions. We can continue water, sewer, and broadband projects as well as covering our budget shortfall and zoning code updates if needed. It looks like this year will be very close to breaking even. It looks like we will be probably be $500,000 to $800,000 short on next year’s budget. Discussion that we don’t want to spend money that is already tied up in water projects like on Reidsboro Road. Industrial Development Authority of Pike County (IDA) MOU.

Rogers. We did take it to their board meeting so they have postponed this until the next meeting. We can make changes. They meet at the first of the month.

Zoning Codes and Ordinances.

Email from the Chairman of the Zoning Board. Jenkins has pushed to have the ordinances done. It’s taking longer than anticipated. Do we want to contract this out? Not a fan of this, but he asked that Jeremy be allowed to finish this. Need to slow down the rezonings for him so he can focus on ordinances and get these things finished.

Johnson said that he needs to focus on this and nothing else. It needs to be done as a priority. Rogers - We can't tell him to do this and nothing else because he has other obligations by our code like permits and rezonings that have deadlines by our ordinances. It’s impossible for us to ask him to do this ahead of other things. Johnson - I think you know what I’m referring to, and I'll leave it at that. [Note from the Editor: If there is an issue that is interfering with the Planning and Development Director's time and ability to do the job that he has been hired to do for our county because of something that isn't being mentioned aloud, I think that the issue should be mentioned aloud. It needs to be addressed in a public forum so there is accountability because what is being done now obviously isn't working.] Rogers - We were able to do so much during the moratorium on subdivisions. Jenkins – Asked about 60 days on subdivisions to tackle the ordinances but there would be revenues lost. Rogers – Everything is tied together. Said that this will be delayed but not lost revenue.

Salaries and COLA’s.

4% COLA in it. Has no COLA’s but has 2% for retirement in it. Trying to figure out ways to do something for the employees. Possibility of doing an employee salary study. I feel like we did a really good job 2 years ago to get salaries and job descriptions to get close to surrounding counties. His suggestion is to do this. Carl Vinson does salary studies. He is going to get in touch with them. Have someone from outside look at salaries. Suggested to commissioners to do this and possible changes could be made in January of 2024. Johnson – Said that he would like to see some of the ARPA money should be used for this study. He really wants to see us go 4% in the budget from ARPA money and do the study too. $260,000-ish for employees. Proctor – How many were saying that 4% was not enough. Has a problem with 4% across the board because he heard department heads say that some deserve a raise and some don’t. Johnson - We plan ahead and do a study for January of next year. Proctor – Anything over 1 or 2% is a raise rather than a COLA. Some need more than 4% for their work. Johnson – 4% was offered and not more. Proctor – We are getting phone calls for more than 4%. If we are going to go with 4% for everyone, we need to stick with it. Johnson – 4% now and evaluation based next year. Johnson and Proctor agreed on 4% now and merit later.

Rogers – Better off to not do anything this year and do the study. Then make the adjustments from the study. This will be done during the year and maybe as late as November or January. Johnson – Can this be budgeted now? Rogers – We can leave the $260,000 in there but obligate it after the study is done. The across the board raises could be an issue because it will be expected. Johnson – Do the 4% raise now and then the salary study. Rogers – Maybe some of our current jobs are making what they should. And maybe others should be paying what their wage should be so it truly goes with their job responsibilities. Daniel – We may be shocked with the cost of this. Rogers – Do the 4% in 24 budget and the study so changes made in 2025 budget. Classify jobs with a minimum and maximum. Proctor – Wants evaluations for employees that are tied to their jobs.

Animal Control.

Rogers. Has given everyone what he has. Thinks that this is an impossible decision because some are going to be unhappy regardless. Johnson – He is back and forth from day to the next. Meriwether County’s budget is $288,000. Upson $281,000 last year and this year $314,830. He says that it could be as high as $400,000 or $500,000. Lamar is $250,000. Also need to discuss the donated money. Proctor – What could it be this year? Rogers – How many dogs? Proctor – How many kennels? 10. Have to keep some for dangerous dogs. Discussion – How long to keep an animal? Who does the spay, neuter, shots, etc. We still have to run it. More than just dogs. Meriwether is cats and dogs. Restrict to dogs to start with. Guy – Give the money back and open it up when we actually need it. Daniel – Believes it will be wasting money to give it back. Daniel – Baby steps are over. It’s time for a big step. Guy – Do we really need it right now? Is Tanya getting a lot of calls? Yes. Daniel and Johnson – They are getting a lot of calls.

Proctor – Have you ran any numbers? Rogers – We did but that was like 3 meetings ago. $350 was his number. Food and walking is inexpensive. Vaccinations, vet care, etc. are obligations that we have to look at. Proctor – What are your numbers? Rogers – 3 dogs a week. No additional staff was included in his numbers. Probably run it with the 2 people that we have now. Will end up paying overtime. Saturday adoption will be needed. Hopefully volunteers would help out. Johnson – 4 officers and 1 part-time at either Upson or Meriwether along with volunteers.

Johnson asked is anyone wanted to speak in Town Hall. Yes. About 8:50 a.m.


Motion to adjourn. 8:50 a.m.


[Note from the Editor: If you appreciate being able to read information from county meetings for free on Pike County Times, please make a donation to Pike County Times through the PayPal link at the bottom of the page or by check to Pike County Times at PO Box 843, Zebulon so I can justify the amount of time that I am spending away from family. It may not seem like much but sitting in a meeting and then typing it up takes a lot more time than you might imagine! Thanks for reading Pike County's only FREE newspaper.]

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 – 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.

TOWN HALL - 8:50 a.m.

Anthony Vinson said that the matter (Appeals Committee Hears Grievance Against County Manager pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BREAKINGNEWSrogerscomplaint5.9.23.html) is far from resolved. As long as it hangs out there, it is going to be bothersome. The hearing itself was not done well. Particularly unfair to the two primary parties involved. The anxiety caused by that was uncalled for. He found all that the recommendations are worth the commissioners’ time. In addition, please debrief each of the 3 members and get suggestions from them. It is in no one’s best interest that this continue as is and the mess from the prior meeting not happen again. [Note from the Editor: More on this at the end of the meeting.]

Robin Flory from the Ag Department spoke. She is the one who inspects animal shelters and was available to answer questions. She had a meeting here a couple of years ago before the shelter was built. One of biggest hurdles is whether to run an adoption center like Upson and Meriwether. Animal Control is different. If you have the luxury of running an adoption center, it will cost money to hold animals for adoptions. There is a lot more money involved in that. Lamar County has animal control and trying to work on a shelter. Building it now. Running into the same situation as Pike County. They have no way to fund it and no ordinances. Building a shelter is the easy part. Try to figure out whether the county wants an animal shelter with adoptions or is just performing animal control. Some counties have no holding period. That’s all that some can afford to do. Counties are having to take care of their own issues now because the state isn’t doing that anymore. The shelter will fill up quickly. You can’t run it on 2 people. [Note from the Editor: A suggestion was made in the 8 a.m. to try to run it with the two people who are doing animal control for the county. That suggestion was answered with Flory's comments that it cannot be done with just our two current animal control officers.]

Also said that the county is going to have to have a vet on retainer. She summed it up by saying the following: Do you want to do an adoption center? Or do you simply want to deal with the stray animal population? One is less expensive than the other.


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

2. INVOCATION ....... Billy Smith

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

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

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

a. Minutes of the April 25, 2023, Regular Monthly Meeting.

b. Minutes of the May 2, 2023, Special Called Meeting.



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 accept the reports. Discussion. Johnson – When we look at all of these numbers, can we get a chart for the anachronyms for what we are paying? Accepted reports 5-0.

b. County Manager Report

Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ....... $4,614,354.13
Fire Dept. Donations ....... $7,721.24
Cash Reserve Account ....... $467,603.68
Jail Fund ....... $30,792.31
E-911 Fund ....... $553,757.31
DATE Fund ....... $39,210.47
Juvenile Court Fund ....... $13,997.05
Residential Impact Fee ....... $1,122,750.86
Commercial Impact Fees .......$166,262.46
C.A.I.P FUND ....... $340,481.85
General Obligation SPLOST 2022-2028 ....... $988,709.68
L.M.I.G. Grant (DOT) ....... $721,848.48

c. County Manager Comment

Received a letter from Community Supervision Services. Change to state law that changed our probate agreement that requires the chairman’s signature on the contract.

Asked that the Board allow the Chairman to review and sign it. The attorney has reviewed it. Motion to allow the Chairman to sign this. Approved 5-0.

d. Commissioner Reports

Chairman Johnson reminded everyone that county offices will close at noon on Friday, May 12, for Pike County Employee Appreciation Day.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners

He will be out of state on May 30 for the meeting.


a. Discussion of Animal Shelter.

Guy and Daniel expressed an opinion in the workshop. Daniel – If we are going to use ARPA funds to pay the money back, it’s like having a shiny new car to drive. If we give money back that is less money than we could be using for the shelter. We have done all we can do without actually doing it. Thinks it is a waste of money to give the money back. Opinions of the community more for than against.

Guy – Thinks that the community will be angry because we can’t house dogs for 10 or 15 days. Johnson – Has to have adoption as part of the agreement for the CLC donation. Guy - Aggressive adoption program. How long to keep an animal? Do we spay/neuter? Guy – In 2 years, we are going to save that money in the long run and open in 2 years. Johnson – Continue on present track? Guy and Daniel. Do a soft opening at a later date and pass ordinance.

Rogers – Chandler’s donation to the county was much appreciated and has moved this timeline forward. There is a lot of confusion in the community. A lot of people have told him that we have obligated ourselves by accepting that check, but he disagrees. He thinks that this a little ahead of its time. It may only be 2 years before we see this as an absolute must at that point and time. I don’t think that right now is the time for the county.

Proctor – Motion to give the money back out of ARPA funds, continue moving toward animal shelter/animal control and dissolve the Animal Control Board. Guy 2nd. 3-2 passed. Johnson, Guy, Proctor. Jenkins and Daniel opposed. Proctor – Not against dogs but don’t think that this is what is best for this county or that we can afford it at this time.

[Note from the Editor: I think that we gave our word that we would build the building and work toward opening up the animal shelter when we accepted that check. I've watched this same song and dance for about 20 years, and I'm frustrated today. Click here to read the history of Pike County animal control from Pike County Times knowing that I can only go back as far as I have been going to meetings here. Animal control has been a hot topic here for a lot longer than 20 years. www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BREAKINGNEWSanimalshelter3.6.23.html.]


a. Consider use of Courthouse Grounds from Kimberly Johnson with Pike County Schools L4GA on Friday, October 20, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. for National Day of Writing.

Motion to approve. 4-0-1 with Chairman abstaining because this is his wife.

b. Consider Tax Refund Application from Jerry F. Motes in the amount of $200.35.

Mobile home on acreage. Has been corrected for 2023. Went back to 2021. Tax Assessor recommends this. Motion to refund. Approved 5-0.

c. Approve/deny Intergovernmental Agreement between Pike County and Development Authority.

Discussions on the acquisition of property. Options for financing. Can do this through the IDA. Bond counsel is a question. Pike County and IDA have used different counsel. Discussion on parameters on this. The IDA will process the bond. Morton said that anything with this will be in Pike County Superior Court and either filed in Newnan or Macon if federal funds are involved. Questions about why we use who we use and whether there are any conflicts of interest. Morton advised who the county uses and has experience with. If we approve, they will review at their next meeting. Motion to approve the agreement and let them work out the bond counsel. Approved 5-0.

Click here to read the current proposed agreement. pikecountytimes.com/secondary/landMOU5.10.23.pdf

d. Approve/deny use of American Rescue Plan Act, ARPA, fund balance for Loss of Revenues.

We will claim loss of revenue as a county. $3,375,83006 is the current balance in ARPA. The question was asked if we can refund the animal shelter from these funds after this vote. Yes. We are accruing monthly interest on this. The rule states that we can claim up to $10 million in lost revenues according to federal rules. Rogers – We can use this for budget shortfall if the county votes to allow this. If kept as ARPA funds only without making this declaration today, we have to spend the money by 2026. If we declare that we are going to use it for lost revenues, we can keep the money forever. Every time the money is spent, it has to be ok’ed by the BOC. We could invest this money to get more money back on this than what is being given at the bank. Motion to use this as lost revenues. Approved 5-0.

e. Accept documents for the Community Development Block Grant for Tanyard Road and authorize Chairman Johnson to sign.
1. Resolution for Submission
2. DCA -10, Certified Assurances
3. DCA-13, Disclosure Report.
4. Language Access Plan Requirement (2)
5. Civil Rights Compliance Certification

These came from our grant writer on the CDB grant. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.


a. Tim Ingram to address the Board regarding dust on McKinley Road.

Tim Ingram. Has anyone checked into getting calcium chloride yet in the past couple of meetings? Proctor has talked to some people in public works. Why is McKinley Road scraped and put so much gravel on it? Nazareth Church and Bolton Road. He got number from Facebook.

How much is a load of gravel? $700 or $750 or may be as much as $850. Based it at $600 a load. Fuel. Big trucks don’t get good mileage. How much running an hour on a motor grader? $4 a gallon. Just from what he’s seen since January. 14 loads of gravel - $7200. Fuel for 2 dump trucks - $240 per day. Employees – sure they don’t make enough. $14 an hour. Counted 5 employees at $14 an hour - $350 an hour. Motor grader. $160 a day. $7,950. January 9. $1,200 load. About $9,950 just on McKinley from 19 to Williamson Road. Said that this is just what he as seen, and there could have been more.

Wasn’t there on Bolton Road, but thinks there is probably at lead 10 loads of gravel. Nazareth Church Road. 3 loads on it. Nobody lives on either one. Added it all up. 1 ½ miles about $25,000 on dirt road. If we are spending $25,000 to $30,000 on 1 ½ miles, that’s a lot of money. If you pull up calcium chloride… [Note from the Editor: His 5 minutes ended, and he was allowed to finish very quickly.] Starting today, I am "going up the street here." It’s a health hazard. And I’ve seen none of y’all out here.


Executive Session. 9:41 a.m.

a. County Attorney Rob Morton request Executive Session for consultation with the county attorney, or other legal counsel, to discuss pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1), germane to pending or potential litigation.

Back in session. 10:13 a.m.

Jenkins. Asked to go back to the ordinance and moratorium discussion. Rogers – 60 days could give us some time and get a progress report. Johnson – Major or minor? Jenkins – If this is far reaching, what do we need? Jeremy Gilbert. Things that take up the most time include ads in the paper, staff reports on each, etc. Rezonings, special exceptions, and major subdivisions. Said that he needs at least 90 days because there is a need for ads and public hearings. Morton agrees with 90 days and up to 6 months. You can always extend it at 90 days if needed, and you can lift it earlier if needed.

Morton – There have been changes in the law where we need to be careful. Jeremy has already presented a couple of chapters of the new appendix for the zoning code, but we are going to have to change hearing deadlines to 30 days on variance applications for example. Recommends not only zoning applications but rezonings, and related applications based on changes in the law.

Motion to impose a 90 day moratorium on all zoning and land use applications. Discussion. Daniel – Last time we had this, the biggest complaints on this were those wanting minor subdivisions. This won’t be included, right? Morton – Administrative acts are not included in this because those do not come before the Planning and Zoning Board or the Board of Commissioners.

Motion to impose a 90 day moratorium related to zoning and land use decisions including major subdivisions, rezonings, zoning applications, variances and special exceptions. This will not include administrative acts such as a plat review or minor subdivision. More discussion: We are not stopping building permits like last time.

Morton – You had a workshop at 8 a.m. this morning in which the county manager raised this as an issue that may need to be addressed today. State law requires you to have an agenda item on things known to be discussed, but it doesn’t keep you from addressing matters that come up as needed. Approved 5-0.

Jenkins said that we finally have a board (Planning and Zoning Board) that wants to do things the right way. He has sat in on several of their meetings of late and has been impressed with how they are doing things.

[Note from the Editor: Technically, it was brought up the workshop so it can be addressed according to state law. However, we do not need to go back to adding things to the agenda without proper advertisement on a regular basis like we have both of late and in the past.]

Grievance Investigation Results

The Appeals Committee held a public hearing on May 2, 2023 concerning Library Manager Rosemary Bunn's complaint of a hostile work environment against County Manager Brandon Rogers. According to the letter that was delivered to commissioners, the Appeals Committee concluded that the complaint was "inconclusive."

They found this decision to be "very difficult with all the circumstances surrounding it" so to ensure fairness to both parties and future grievance complaints, they made the following recommendations to the Board of Commissioners "to be implemented immediately" in order to make sure that this situation is "handled properly" and address issues involving the County and Library before they escalate. They also made additional recommendations that need to be put into place for Due Process in future grievance complaints:

"1. The County seek out a Conflict Resolution Mediator not associated with the County nor its employees to address the situation between Library Manager and County Manager as well as both the County and Library Board.

2. The County adopts a policy that outlines specifically Hostile Work Environment Harassment.

3. The County adopt procedures and policies regarding how Future COACHING SESSION/WRITTEN WARNING/VERBAL WARNING documentations are conducted by ANY county employee against another county employee be witnessed by a non-county employee.

4. The County provides Employee climate surveys to be conducted at intervals as the following:
a. After the first 90 days for all new employees.
b. Every 6 months for ALL county employees.
c. Upon separation of ALL county employees.

5. The County establishes a Grievance Committee, guidelines, and procedures outlining how to handle grievances."

They ended the letter by saying, "While it may not be the outcome that you may have hoped for, we want you to know that your courage to make such a claim will no doubt be the catalyst for change and will hopefully lead to lifelong changes throughout the county and the relationship it has with its employees."

[Note from the Editor: The fact that this was not mentioned in the meeting today was somewhat disappointing, but hopefully that means that the county is working toward what has been suggested. There were obvious signs that there was an escalating problem between these two parties, and nothing was done to find a resolution. If a mediator is not brought in to help find to address the situation, it is going to end up in a lawsuit.

Thank you to these committee members for stepping into a nasty situation and doing the best that they could with what they had. The county would do well to examine and look at how to implement their suggestions. Especially with ordinance changes.

And I will repeat my request that an annual evaluation needs to be conducted on our county manager by the commissioners to ensure that the commissioners and the county manager are on the same page as they are working to take care of the citizens and employees in our county.]


Motion to adjourn. 10:24 a.m.

Agenda subject to change.

[Note from the Editor: If you appreciate being able to read information from county meetings for free on Pike County Times, please make a donation to Pike County Times through the PayPal link at the bottom of the page or by check to Pike County Times at PO Box 843, Zebulon so I can justify the amount of time that I am spending away from family. It may not seem like much but sitting in a meeting and then typing it up takes a lot more time than you might imagine! Thanks for reading Pike County's only FREE newspaper.]