Skip to content

Wasdin makes unusual request to commission

Hazlehurst/Jeff Davis County Fire Chief Charles Wasdin made an unusual request of the County Commissioners at the body’s September meeting last Tuesday — he asked for money from the budget to purchase a new rescue truck for the fire department.
What made the request so unusual is the fact that, for years, Wasdin has not included such equipment purchased for the fire department because, with the implementation of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) some 25 years ago, SPLOST funds have been used for all such purchases.
Wasdin told the commissioners that he needed to replace a fire department truck and asked to purchase a used truck and install a SpaceKap, a transferable storage unit that converts a pickup into a van.
After much discussion, the commissioners authorized Wasdin to spend up to $60,000 on the truck and SpaceKap.
Wasdin also updated the commissioners on the county’s new ISO (Insurance Services Office) fire rating which came back good, resulting in reduced fire insurance costs for homeowners and businesses in some areas of the county.
Wasdin also shared with the commissioners that he planned to begin an Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) class in the first quarter of next year. An EMR cannot do some of the duties that Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) do but, rather, can supplement EMT duties to improve medical services in the county.
Commissioner Brad Crews asked Wasdin what could be done to handle grass-cutting duties at the rural stations and asked that he get a cost estimate on what can be done to maintain the stations.
Wasdin also reminded the commissioners that the open house for the new Emergency Management Agency offices was scheduled for Oct. 7 from 1 to 3 p.m.
In other action, the commissioners ….
…. approved a recommendation from the recreation department board that a $20 All Star fee be charged in the future.
…. agreed to get quotes on fencing in the Baxley Highway recreation complex excluding the city-owned splash pad.
…. approved a motion to accept the city-owned splash pad if the city is willing to give it to the county.
…. agreed to use Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) funds to pave Barney Road, East Palm Road, West Palm Road, East Camelia Road and Dogwood Road. During discussions of road maintenance expenditures, Commissioner Hank Hobbs shared with the board an analysis of the road spending in each of the county’s five election districts since 2018, which showed that the Ocmulgee and Hazlehurst districts, represented respectively by Vann Wooten and James Benjamin, received only 9% and 6% of the expenditures. The Blackburn District represented by Hobbs and the Whitehead District represented by Crews received about a quarter of the expenditures and the Altamaha District represented by Commission Chairman Ricky Crosby received 41% of the funds, primarily, as Crews pointed out, due to the high cost of resurfacing one road. Hobbs said he shared the information to point out that Wooten and Benjamin needed some help with the roads in their districts.
…. approved a request from Joey Hiers of J Hiers Co. of Baxley to pay for the increase in asphalt prices in the amount of $106,053.
…. heard an update on $128,000 in road striping funds from County Administrator Heather Scott.
…. agreed to resurvey Lily Lane to find existing pins.
…. agreed to request bids on the county-owned Brooker Street property.
…. approved a request from Silicon Ranch to bore under McCall Road if they have a licensed, certified and bonded person to do the work.
…. heard an update on the road department from Eddie Bush.
…. agreed to allow the school system to use the fairgrounds as a secondary evacuation building.
…. agreed to start construction of the new Emergency Medical Services building as soon as possible.
…. met in closed session to discuss personnel.

Leave a Comment