CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners held a two-and-a-half hour work session and called meeting Monday. Public Safety Director David Murphy presented his office’s 2016 annual report during the work session.
The Department of Public Safety oversees Animal Control, Emergency Management Agency, E911 Communications and Fire Services.
Significant accomplishments in the Animal Control agency include receiving $5,000 in grant funds for various projects such as adoption and the spay and neuter program. Murphy said the euthanasia rate has continued to decline.
EMA responded to163 events in 2016, more than twice the amount in the previous year. EMA employees also conducted 15 training events and completed 214 training hours. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) completed 378 training hours.
EMA is the coordinating agency for all Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security Grants for Public Safety. Pre-Disaster and Disaster mitigation funds are funneled through the division. The amount of federal support the county received declined from $77,408 in 2015 to $47,615 in 2016.
The 911 Central Communications Division operates 24/7 and is manned by four communications officers per shift. The call volume handled by the 911 staff increased from 111,226 calls in 2015 to 114,105 in 2016.
The Fire Services Division is manned by 12 career firefighters, 2 part-time employees, and 46 volunteer firefighters who cover 242 square miles. Response time averaged 10 minutes. Fire department personnel received 3,748 hours of training in 2016, including 2,745 hours of formal training and 2,976 hours of fire oriented training. The department has seven fire stations with one proposed station on Maudlin Road and another in the Duncan Bridge Road area of Panorama Drive.
During Monday night’s called meeting, the White County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the following applications for rezoning:
- Sue Russell’s request to rezone 1.34 acres at 1204 and 1206 Ridge Road in Helen from C1 Community Commercial District to C2 Highway Business District;
- Larry Freeman’s request to rezone 1.44 acres at 9669 Duncan Bridge Road in Cleveland from R1 Residential Single Family District to C2 Highway Business District;
- Elaine F. Reynold’s request to rezone 13 acres at 1679 Helen Highway in Cleveland from R1 Residential Single Family District to C2 Highway Business District;
- Kelly and Gary Mills request to rezone 5 acres at 457 Highway 255 South in Cleveland from R1 Residential Single Family to A1 Agriculture Forestry District.
Commissioners also approved the Alliant Renewal Option for the county employees benefits program which reflects a 12.46 percent increase totaling $193,098 for Fiscal Year 2017-’18.