Hart County Board of Commissioners

February 21st, 2000

Planning Session



Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.


In attendance were Commissioners Brown, Hannah and Oglesby. Commissioner Burdick absent. Also attending were County Administrator Gary Cobb, Public Works Director Rick Haney, County Attorney Walter Gordon and assistant Kim Wilkerson, Reporters Mark Lanford and Jennifer Paynter, Kevin Heaton, five citizens from the Sardis Community and three representatives, including Jimmy McDonald (owner) of the proposed gambling facility on #29 North.


Chairman Moore recognized Kevin Heaton who spoke on behalf of his neighbors. Mr. Heaton described what he believes the gambling business would have on he and his neighbors. He was particular concerned about increased traffic, after hours operation, increase crime and a decrease in their property values. Several other citizens reinforced Mr. Heaton's comments.


Mr. McDonald responded to the citizens by explaining that their establishment would be completed in good taste. He showed pictures of a similar project in Myrtle Beach. He explained he had invested $450,000 in the seven-acre lot and planned to invest $200,000 to $300,000 in the buildings. A new 60-foot x 80-foot steel building was planned.


He stated he would install an eight-foot high fence along the rear of the property. Mr. McDonald stated he expected 50% of his gross profits would come from the sale of bait, fishing supplies and sporting goods. He did not intend to sell gasoline but they could. He said he would have approximately forty gambling machines and would follow all applicable state and local laws and regulations.


Chairman Moore commented that had zoning been implemented last year, this type of activity could have been controlled as to where it could be located. However, at the state level is where the laws that allow this activity are enacted. Citizens should contact their state representatives on this matter.


Chairman's Report

        The county will be reimbursed between $13,000 and $14,000 for their expenses incurred as a result of the recent ice storm. The volunteer firemen participated in the cleanup and their efforts are included in the above figures. They personally will be paid at the same rate they are paid for fire fighting activity. Chairman Moore recommended using that part of the reimbursement attributable to the volunteer firemen's efforts be used to partially offset the Fire Training Facility development costs. In particular, the running of the six inch water main on the property. No objection was raised. The County Administrator will manage these designated funds.

        The letter requesting ISO inspection was sent February 17th, 2000.

        April 13, 2000 is the suggested date for the Community Leadership Retreat sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

        Chairman Moore reviewed his letter to the Grand Jury foremen concerning auditing of county operations.

        Once again, Chairman Moore asked for input to his "Goals for 2000". It has been over a month since the document was distributed. Copies were passed out. All agreed that an off-site work session would be appropriate venue to consider and prioritize the county's goals for 2000. The commissioners agreed to look for dates in March.


County Administrator's Report

        2000 Lawn Maintenance contract

Put on the consent agenda to advertise


        Water Authority Board Members

Put on consent agenda to reappoint Fort Oglesby, Pat Goran and Jerry Cleveland.

        Status of Recreation Park mini-projects

List was passed out.

        Status of Recreation Department opening, interviews are scheduled for February 22nd, 23rd and 24th. Nine applications were received. Three will be interviewed.

        Status of County House/Annex Space Project

Only one person has picked up a specification package. Deadline is 4:00 p.m. February 22nd. If no proposals, we should advertise further.

        Status of the Fire Training Facility

Driving Track is under construction. The classrooms, burn building and search house was located. Rick Haney is working with the City of Hartwell to have a six-inch water line brought on the property. He estimated about 1,100 feet of line required.

        Fire Training Officer

A draft Job Description was reviewed along with a salary study. Three management structures were reviewed. Further input has been requested from the BOC and the Fire Protection Committee. A recommendation will be given to the BOC on March 13, 2000 for their consideration at their March 14th, 2000 meeting.


A request was made to modify the Heavy Equipment Job Description to make a CDL license a job requirement. This action was directed to the consent agenda.


County Attorney Report

County Attorney Walter Gordon reviewed Occupation Fees & Regulatory Fees. He was directed to determine whether regulatory fees without having an Occupation Fee could be implemented. These regulation fees would be applicable to Pawn Shops, Escort Services, Nude Dancing, Gambling establishments, etc.


Recreation Advisory Board

Members of the Recreation Advisory Board and the Recreation Director Joe Crocker were asked to present their Five-year Plan to the BOC in preparation of the new SPLOST initiative. The plan was distributed at the February 7th, 2000 Planning Session. Most of the discussion centered on the acquisition of property, which is in the year 2000 of the plan. Advantages and disadvantages of expanding the present area were explored as well as looking at a large new area to replace the existing facility. A third option would be the acquisition of several smaller sites adjacent to the elementary schools that will be available in two years. The County Attorney was asked to explore with the Nalleys the purchase of the 20-acre parcel adjacent to the 9-acre parcel they have offered.


The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.




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Joel Moore, Chairman Gary S. Cobb, County Administrator