After tabling the issue of a one year contract with the Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority at their last meeting, the Upson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the document last Tuesday. Questions had been raised by Commissioner Steve Hudson about the language of the contract that alluded to the authority being cooperatively funded by both the county and the City of Thomaston, when all of the financial support is done by the county.
The county has had a contract with the City of Thomaston to fund the TUIDA a director, secretary and expenses of operating an office for the past five years, however that agreement ended at the close of 2012. The city had offered to continue the contract for one additional year keeping the terms the same, with the contract for next year to be discussed when both government entities hammer out the details of the service deliveries agreement for the LOST. TUIDA Director Kyle Fletcher told The Thomaston Times that the wording of the contract had been changed to say the TUIDA was managed cooperatively by both the county and the city and is funded by Upson County.
After Chairman Rusty Blackston stated the language in the contract had been changed, Hudson made a motion to accept, which was seconded by Commissioner Frank Spraggins. The board voted 5-0 to approve.
Sheriff Dan Kilgore was present at the meeting to recognize former Sheriff Don Peacock for his many years of service and dedication to the Thomaston-Upson community. Peacock served with the Georgia State Patrol for 34 years, retiring as Major over the drivers license division before going on to become Sheriff of Upson County for the past 12 years. Kilgore presented Peacock with his Glock duty weapon to serve as a reminder of the community’s appreciation for his service.
“It was definitely a pleasure to service with you and I appreciate what you did for our community,” stated Kilgore.
He also presented Peacock with his “retired law enforcement card” which is good for one free cup of coffee and a bologna sandwich compliments of the Upson County Sheriff’s Department. With a smile on his face, Peacock told the crowd he was humbled and very appreciative of every one.
In other business, the commissioners approved the purchase of two Kubota M7040F1 tractors ($42,050) and two Woods BB600x bushhogs ($5,227.84) for the Road Department. Commissioner Hudson noted the Woods bushhogs are a little more expensive than some, but by purchasing these it will standardize the equipment at the Road Department. Money was designated in the 2011 SPLOST for the purchase of this equipment.
A beer and wine package license was approved for Mr. Harold Teel/SASA enterprise and the MLK Food Mart located at 383 MLK Drive in Thomaston. Dorothy Reeves was the only person to speak during the public hearing for the license and stated she did not believe another business that sold alcohol was necessary when there were six stores within a two mile radius of the location. Mr. Teel met all the requirements needed for a package license and therefore was approved.
County Manager Jim Wheeless updated the board on several matters that will need their attention at the next meeting, one dealing with municode and the code books for Upson County. Wheeless noted the final cost to bring the code books up to date is $8,970 which includes 10 books and all the current ordinances. That price also covers putting the codes online for six months; after that there would be an annual fee of $700 to have the information online. If the board chose to only list the codes online and not purchase the books, the cost would be $550 per year.
The other matter Wheeless brought to the board’s attention is the purchase of new software for the finance and utility billing departments. He noted there are numerous reasons to update the software and the purchase of a new software package was approved in the 2011 SPLOST. He is recommending the county select CSI Smart Fusion software for a price of $89,970 plus the approximately $10,000 worth of hardware needed to go along with it. Wheeless stated the total cost would be $99,970 and the SPLOST allowed for up to $104,000 to cover the project. He will bring the information to the board for approval at the next meeting.
Finally, Commissioner Hudson told the public that the county is planning to start charging admission to Sprewell Bluff around April or May. The cost will be $3 and there will be annual passes available with a discount offered to persons over 62 years of age.