Board approves millage rate
Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2016
By MICHAEL MURRAY
AMERICUS — The Sumter County Board of Commissioners met for its monthly work session on July 12 at the Sumter County Courthouse. Though the board’s scheduled regular meeting was cancelled the following week, the board met on July 26 for a called meeting to adopt the 2016 millage rate.
At the called meeting, the board approved a millage rate of 13.225 mills in the unincorporated areas of Sumter County and the incorporated cities of Andersonville, DeSoto, Leslie, and Plains. The board approved a millage rate of 13.035 mills in the incorporated city of Americus.
County financial director, Janice Jarvis, informed the board that the Department of Revenue had recently updated the Forest Land Protection Act so that the cap on the value that the county is able to receive as a reimbursement from the state will be raised, allowing the county to increase local revenues by nearly $21,000.
The board went on to pre-approve the 2016 millage rate proposed by the Sumter County Board of Education (BOE), which was expected to be adopted at 18.235 mills the following day at the BOE meeting. County administrator, Bill Twomey, explained that the increase in the BOE millage will leave the actual tax collected virtually unchanged, due to a decrease in the size of the BOE’s digest.
On the county’s unchanged millage rate, Twomey went on to say, “Our proposal is to keep the millage rate the same and actually impose less taxes on the public,” referring to the fact that the total value of the county’s digest had also become smaller.
At the board’s work session, two weeks prior, the board went into closed session to discuss potential litigation and impending litigation before returning to the meeting room to make a statement on the findings of the recently-completed forensic audit of the Sheriff’s Office.
When the board came back into open session, Twomey delivered the following statement: “This statement, as the chairman said, is issued by the board of commissioners. The Commissioners have provided the forensic audit report to the relevant authorities for review. We are reviewing the county’s options with respect to the findings of the audit, including identifying the processes that the sheriff’s office needs to correct moving forward, with which we have offered our assistance.” Board chairman, Randy Howard, then stated that no questions would be entertained.
Other business conducted at the work session included the following.
• Consider a license application for the sale of alcoholic beverages by Lopez’s Quick Stop, on Hooks Mill Road, in Leslie. The application was later approved.
• A request by Loida Waters, director of the Sumter County Department of Family and Child Services (DFCS) to approve the year’s DFCS board appointments. Waters also discussed new guidelines that the DFCS office will employ in identifying abused children.
• Approval of a policy pertaining to county employees who require service animals.
• Approval of a dress code and grooming policy for county employees.
• The approval of a contract to provide lighting at the soon-to-be constructed roundabout at the intersection of District Line Road and Ga. Highway 27.
• Appointments to the Sumter County Library Board, the Sumter County Livestock Authority, and the Sumter County Tax Assessor’s Board were discussed, but no appointments were made.
• The board approved a resolution requesting the River Valley Regional Commission to provide technical assistance for the auditing and collection of unpaid 911 fees.
• The board approved an inmate labor request from the Andersonville Guild.
• The board approved a loan agreement between Reather Stewart and Sumter County ($28,230) for 145 Pecan Terrace, as well as another between Arrena Solomon and Sumter County ($24,255) for 176 A Loop Road.
• The board approved contracts for services between the Sumter County and the following organizations; the Sumter County Land Bank Authority ($25,000), Learning for Everyone ($5,000), the Middle Flint Area Community Service Board ($2,000), the Boys and Girls Club of Sumter County ($2,000), the Sumter County Airport Authority ($35,716), the Sumter County Health Department ($240,387), the Office of Environmental Health of Sumter County ($675), the Sumter County Archway Partnership ($10,000), the Lake Blackshear Regional Library System ($125,000), the Sumter County Payroll Development Authority ($20,000), the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce ($18,000), the Sumter County Humane Society ($50,000), the Middle Flint Council on Aging ($2,500), and Sumter County DFCS ($16,500).
• Maj. Joe Monts, of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office addressed the board, requesting authorization to bid for vehicles using SPLOST funds. The request was approved.