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By: Eddy Gifford, Publisher


The Dade County Board of Commissioners had its first meeting of the New Year Jan. 2 at the Dade Administrative Building with all commissioners present except Mitchell Smith who had a death in his family and was unable to attend.

The Commission held its monthly workshop prior to the meeting and discussed several items and placed them on the consent agenda and later approved all those items.

The first item was to set the qualifying fees for local elected offices that will be coming up for election this year. The Commission approved a qualifying fee for County Commissioner of $120 and for the Dade County School Board the fee will be $18.

The Commission also approved a resolution to obtain a line of credit or tax anticipation loan up to $800,000. This line of credit will only be used if needed but it was pointed out that each of the last four years the line of credit has been necessary to maintain county business.

The Commission also appointed Commissioner Robert Goff as the Dade County Legislative Coordinator, a position he has held for the past several years. Goff keeps the Commission informed on legislative issues that are being considered by the State Legislature.

Several items in the FY14 Budget were amended to show transfers from different areas of the budget.

The Dade County Employee Handbook was amended to comply with the Affordable Care Act in terms of guidelines for full time employees. The change was from 32 hours to 30 hours that reflects the statutory definition of full-time employee.

Also added to Section 5.3 – Annual Leave was the sentence, “Annual leave may not be cashed out.”

The term “unused sick leave” was also added to Section 8.1 – Separation from Employment as it pertains to death. The wording now reads, “All compensation; unused sick leave; and up to 160 hours of accrued annual leave due under the terms of this handbook, if any, shall be paid to the employee’s estate or surviving spouse as provided by law.”

The Commission also updated the FTZ Zero Tolerance Drug-Free Workplace policy as required by the State of Georgia.

During the Commissioners’ reports Scottie Pittman commended the Chamber of Commerce on the excellent Christmas parade saying, “it was one of the best ever and was enjoyed by everyone.”

Commissioner Pittman also reported a lot of maintenance work was going on at the park since mowing season was over. He also reported on vandalism at the park with restrooms being vandalized and the concession stand being broken into.

Currently they don’t have any suspects but he emphasized that those responsible would be prosecuted when arrested. He also stated they are planning to update surveillance equipment in the area as well.

Commissioner Robert Goff reported that local option sales tax revenue declined again in December and you would have to go back several years to find a lower amount. The December amount was $135,591.85. The December 2012 amount was $152,652.18 and 2011 came it at $169,325.44.

Goff also reported that the SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) was down to $169,490.60. The 2012 amount was $190,815.39 and in 2011 the total was $211,655.79.

Commissioner Allan Bradford reported that all was going well at the transfer station and that markers had been obtained for Burkhalter Gap Road and as soon as weather permitted they would be installed.

County Executive Ted Rumley reported several individuals had spoken to him about the 65-5 tax exemption that the School Board is asking Legislatures to put on the ballot to amend. Rumley explained that the Board of Education had the authority to do so but he was personally against any changes to the policy and would vote against it if it in fact appears on the ballot.

Rumley then asked all Commissioners present to comment and they all agreed the Board of Education can request the amendment but they all stated they were not in favor and would vote against any resolution to change the current policy.

Rumley also stated that the amendment has major changes, not minimal, as has been suggested by the BOE and School Superintendent.

The Commission then heard from representatives from the Dade County Public Library, Chamber of Commerce and 4-H as well as Puckett Ambulance Service before adjourning the meeting.



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