Meetings, meetings, meetings

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Since the publication of the September 16 edition of The Blade, three meetings have been held and attended by Blade staff. Recaps of those meetings are as follows:

City of Swainsboro

Members of the Swainsboro City Council and Mayor Charles Schwabe convened Tuesday, September 15, at 5 p.m. in the classroom of Swainsboro Fire Department for a special called meeting.

Mayor Schwabe informed council the purpose of the meeting was to update council on developments with the water/wastewater and public works departments of the city. He reported that as of September 15, 2020, Jacobs/OMI was no longer serving as a contractor with the city of Swainsboro for maintenance and operation of these two departments. This follows a period of discussion and action taken within council following unsuccessful negotiation with Jacobs/OMI over a period of several months. The mayor also advised council that all Jacob/OMI employees had been assured that they would continue to have employment in their current positions either with the city or with a new contractor following a period of reorganization.

The mayor expressed regret that this measure had become necessary but thanked the council for their deliberation and their efforts in making sure that the best interests of the city are being served. 

Lastly, the mayor and council asked for the understanding and cooperation of residents in the city while this transition is taking place. 

No action by council was taken and the meeting was adjourned. 

Board of Education

In addition to the City of Swainsboro, the Emanuel County Board of Education also hosted a special called meeting. This meeting took place at 5 p.m. on Monday, September 21, at the Central Office in Swainsboro.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Mason Henry. Johnny Parker motioned to approve the night's agenda, Phyllis Dixon seconded, and all board members voted accordingly.

Board members then reviewed the FY21 milage rate of 13.997. Motioning for approval was John Allen Bailey. Del Brown gave the second, and the motion carried unanimously.

Board of Commissioners

Following the Board of Education meeting, the Emanuel County Board of Commissioners convened at 6 p.m. at the John C. Coleman Hotel for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Desse Davis. County Attorney Richard McNeely gave the invocation, and all recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

The board then heard a motion from Jim Sherrod to approve the minutes from meetings held August 17, September 9, and September 17.  Davis provided the second, and the vote was unanimous.

In refrerence to old business:

  • County Administrator L.G. Singletary advised of receiving three letters of interest for appointment to the hospital authority, those being Twin City Mayor Matt Donaldson, Will Martin, and John Allen Bailey. With two vacancies available, it was made known of Erma Jenkins' intent for reappointment. Board members voted to submit Jenkins’ name to the hospital board for approval of one vacant seat. The other three names were submitted to the hospital board for a decision to be made on the second vacant seat. James Canady made the motion, Keith Thompson seconded, and all voted in favor.

In reference to new business:

  • Canady made a motion to approve the budget adoption for FY20-21. This motion was seconded by Sherrod and backed by all board members.
  • 2019-2020 budget amendments were reviewed and voted for approval by commissioners. Sherrod made the motion, Hugh Foskey seconded, and all commissioners voted in favor of the approval.
  • An Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of Swainsboro was approved by the commissioners. Serving as a “we’re in this together" type of deal, the agreement was motioned for approval by Canady and seconded by Sherrod. All commissioners voted accordingly.
  • 2021 LMIG project selections were reviewed and discussed by board members. The list of selected projects included Lawrence  Sherrod Road, a portion of Mt. Shady Church Road (from Quick Road to Lambs Bridge Road), Hereford Road, Kathleen Drive, and various deep patching throughout the county.
  • One time pay adjustments consistent with 5 percent pay were discussed by commissioners. The adjustments are to include all full-time county staff of at least six months or longer. Motioning for approval was Sherrod. Foskey and Thompson both spoke to second this action, and all board members agreed.
  • Equipment purchases were then discussed. Board members approved the purchase of two trucks to be used for dumpster upkeeps and trash collections as well as a mower max to assist in performing work throughout the county. All commissioners voted for approval of said purchases, except Thompson, who opposed.

In reference to special comments:

  • Singletary provided an update on the alcohol ordinance, stating that further discussion and action on the matter are anticipated to take place during the October or November meetings of commissioners.
  • It was announced that the county has been approved for $600,000 in CARES funding.
  • Singletary was pleased to announce that the Emanuel County Senior Center received a $750,000 grant reward for renovations to take place at the local senior center. Plans to work with an architect and bid the job is anticipated to take place next year.
  • Singletary announced that discussed plans for the 911 facility have been placed on hold due to COVID. He further advised that the work will be performed by inmates and is expected to begin approximately by next summer. Singletary also advised that the new phone and CAD system discussed for Emanuel County 911 is currently in the works.

With no other matters to discuss, Sherrod motioned to adjourn, and Foskey seconded.

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