County Commission Meets

Following is information from the minutes of the April 21 meeting of the Jeff Davis County Commission:
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions set in place by Governor Kemp, the Board of Commissioners could not allow more than 10 people in the meeting room. Therefore, the Board physically closed the meeting to the public and live-streamed the meeting via YouTube and Facebook. Members of the press were invited to attend, as well as Joint Development Authority Director, Andrea Taylor.
Taylor discussed information about Silicon Ranch renewable energy company. She said Phases 5 and 6 of the Silicon Ranch project, the Silicon Ranch Company is asking for a 65% tax abatement for a period of 25 years, which the Development Authority recommended. During these phases, Silicon Ranch will give $200,000 to the county for Road Projects and the yearly Pilot Payment would be $159,780 for the 25 years.
Commissioner Hank Hobbs asked what the Bond amount was. Director Taylor said Silicon Ranch offered a bond of $50,000. She also stated that a normal Bond is around 1.8%, which would be $106,000-$200,000 for these phases. Commissioner Hank Hobbs and Attorney Carla Powell said the commission should and will negotiate with Silicon.
The commission voted to accept the Development Authority’s recommendations.
Taylor also asked about the status of the Environmental Building and if it would be available to be given to the Joint Development Authority to be used for offices for new businesses. Commissioner Hobbs said the Board needed to check on a memorandum of understanding for the building. Chairman Ricky Crosby said the Board will look into it and get back with Taylor.
Chairman Crosby said employees are complaining about the state of cleanliness of the courthouse and the current cleaning service is not up to par. Crosby mentioned that some surrounding counties use professional cleaning companies, others use inmates or employees.
Commissioner Brad Crews said he believes the Board should bid out the cleaning service with a detailed list of what the provider will perform. He also said he believes the cleaning service should be on an annual or bi-annual contract. Commissioner Hobbs said the contract should state which buildings are included. Vice-Chairman Vann Wooten agreed that the Courthouse needed to be properly cleaned.
Commissioner Crews asked Administrative Secretary Hannah Day to call surrounding counties and ask for copies of their cleaning agreements. He asked her to call professional cleaning companies and ask for quotes for a one-time deep cleaning and sanitation service in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also asked her to advertise for the regular cleaning services that could operate on yearly contracts.
In other action the commissioners ….
…. approved FY2020 budget reappropriation amendments.
…. approved Road Superintendent to hire replacement employees.
…. approved the hiring of the Heather Freeman as county clerk and Chelsea Mabey as deputy clerk.
…. heard from Crews who gave the update from Hofstadter and Associates on JA Yawn Road and 2019 LMIG. Stated that Hofstadter has expedited all designs for the road projects at the Board’s request. Engineering for 2019 LMIG and JA Yawn Road are complete. Cost estimates have been reviewed and are within the budget numbers that were reviewed in the March 2 workshop and submitted to GDOT. Both projects will bid on May 13 at 2 p.m. and projected to be completed in Quarter 3 or 4 of 2020.

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