Commissioners approve participation with Georgia Regional Radio Network

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by WHITLEY CLIFTON

The Emanuel County Board of Commissioners convened for its regular scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, August 15, at the John C. Coleman Hotel in Swainsboro. With all board members present except Desse Davis, Chairman Jim Sherrod called the meeting to order at 6 p.m. and welcomed all guests and media. Keith Thompson gave the invocation and Hugh Foskey led the pledge of allegiance.

In reference to the approval of minutes…

Commissioners unanimously approved minutes from the regular meeting held July 18, a budget/millage rate workshop meeting on August 2 and a budget workshop meeting on August 11. Foskey cast first motion of approval and James Canady seconded this action, with all in favor.

Old Business

• County Administrator L. Guy Singletary addressed council on the need to fill vacancies on the Hospital Authority Board. Furthermore, he suggested approving the names of potential candidates at the next meeting set for the third Monday in September so that those names can be referred to the Hospital Authority Board for final selection and approval. These terms will begin in January 2023. Interested candidates wishing to seek placement on this board should contact the Emanuel County Commissioners Officer.

New Business

• Singletary presented a Solar Farm Ordinance for Commissioners to review. He advised that with growing numbers seen in solar farms, the possibility of establishments being made within the county should not be considered an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. Singletary advised that having an ordinance with regulations in place would be beneficial to solar companies as well as Emanuel County citizens. The ordinance includes requirements of establishing solar farms, safety and operational functions, inspections and penalties, access protocols, decommission bond policy information and other means for operation. Foskey made first motion for approval to adopt the solar farm ordinance and was seconded by Thompson. All remaining commissioners voted accordingly. Thompson then proposed the board look into establishing an ordinance for hog farms in the near future and suggested researching current hog farm ordinances in other counties to use as references.

• Commissioners approved a Southeast Georgia Regional Radio Network Governance and Operation Document. With the county’s current public safety communications system being old and dated and the completion of the county’s new emergency response building drawing closer, Singletary advised that a better communication system is still a strong need for the county and further informed commissioners that final figures for services have not been obtained yet by bidders. However, by agreeing to the network’s memorandum of understanding (MOU), the submitted document presented for review, Emanuel County would be considered for participation with the Southeast Georgia Regional Radio Network. Benefits include opportunity for appointment of one commissioner to serve on the Southeast Georgia Regional Radio Network Board, guaranteed Motorola coverage for all departments using five towers, and the opportunity to be a leading bridgeway for other counties west of Emanuel County to tie into the radio network, if desired. However, the biggest perk of this proposal is that there is no associated cost for use of the system, saving the county millions of dollars. Singletary suggested that out of approximately five options of consideration, that Southeast Georgia Regional Radio Network was the most affordable option and offered better services than other submitted proposals. Canady made first motion for approval of the submitted document and was seconded by Thompson. The vote passed unanimously.

With no further business remaining for discussion and/or action, Foskey made first motion to adjourn and was seconded by Canady with all remaining board members voting accordingly.

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