CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners discussed a number of key issues during Monday’s work session, including the purchase of a new 9-1-1 phone system, the possible creation of a committee to draft a historic preservation protection plan and bids received for a maintenance and operation contract for the transfer station as well as replacement compactor for the convenience center.
Commissioners do not typically vote on issues during a work session. Instead, they are placed on the agenda for the next voting session which will be Oct. 1.
Public Safety Director David Murphy presented the results of a request for proposal (RFP). After review of the bids received, staff recommended the contract be awarded to AT&T for a total amount of $222,298 which is approximately $38,0000 less than what was encumbered in the 2018 budget to be paid for by special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) revenue.
Murphy said the current system was installed in 2007 and has outlived its usefulness and the company that sold it is no longer in business. The new system, which includes electronic equipment, computer equipment and software that will allow the 9-1-1 center to pinpoint the caller’s location which could save first responders valuable time if someone is injured in a remote location and don’t know where they are.
John Erbele asked the board to consider creation a committee charged with drafting a county-wide historic preservation protection plan and map overlay. Erbele said White County is a very special place and it will be even more special 20 years from now if such a plan is adopted.
Commissioners have received a number of citizen complaints about the transfer station so they have been considering awarding the maintenance and operation contract to a different vendor. When the bids came in, however – Advanced Disposal, which holds the current contract – was the lowest bidder.
Staff recommended awarding the contract to Advanced Disposal, but with some additional requirements aimed at cleaning up the site.
There was also a discussion about vacation rentals by owner (VRBO). County Manager Michael Melton pointed out that a number of property owners who rent their houses out to tourists are not paying the hotel/motel tax or sales tax which they are required to pay.
There were three public hearings. One was a request from Jon Steven Neal for a conditional use permit to operate a rent-by-owner property on 1.18 acres at 253 Enota Drive in Sautee Nacoochee. Another was a request by Jeremy McAfee to redistrict 7.10 acres at 2779 Tesnatee Gap Valley Road to C-2 Highway Business District. The property now houses a automotive body shop. McAfee wants to expand the building to house other businesses. Neither of those public hearing attracted any opposition.
However, Michael Clark’s request for a conditional use permit at 5058 Helen Highway in Sautee Nacoochee to operate a “place of worship” did draw opposition from an adjacent property owner who said the building lacks adequate parking space and septic system.
Commissioners also reviewed bids for the contract to operate the transfer station. Three bids were received and the current provider Advanced Disposal was the lowest bidder with a proposed tipping fee of $49.75 per ton, a 12 percent increase of the current fee.
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