Sumter County BOC approves resolution to inspect abandoned mobile homes

Published 12:22 pm Sunday, July 21, 2019

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By Ken Gustafson


AMERICUS — The Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously approved Resolution 2019-085 to appoint a local government agent to inspect abandoned mobile homes according to guidelines laid out in the Abandoned Mobile Home Act and other lawful purposes. This was done at the BOC’s monthly meeting held on Tuesday at the Sumter County Courthouse.

Former Governor Nathan Deal signed the Abandoned Mobile Home Act into law back in 2018. The legislation is intended to give local governments more authority over blighted properties in their communities.

County Attorney Kimberly Reid explained to the BOC that this is the formal resolution that allows for the appointment of the Code Enforcement official to serve as the local government agent. This agent would be responsible for going out and inspecting the abandoned mobile homes and determining if they are derelict or intact so that the landowner can proceed with the magistrate court process.

County Financial Director Janice Jarvis recommended that the BOC approve the resolution. Commissioner Scott Roberson made a motion for approval and Commissioner George Torbert seconded it. It passed unanimously.

Commissioner Mark Waddell was not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

The BOC also approved a proposal from a construction company called TTL to conduct an investigation to determine the location of an old septic tank and tile fields believed to be located behind the old correctional institute site on the north side of McMath Mill Road and at the former landfill office site. The cost of doing this investigation will be $5,917.50 and it will be paid from the landfill budget.

“This is in response to the methane hits that were in the temporary well up on the north side of McMath Mill Road and on the south side where the old scale office used to be,” Public Works Director Jim Littlefield said. Littlefield said he had discovered that an old septic tank and some tile fields had been located in that area. He said that TTL gave the Public Works three options for locating the septic tank and tile fields. One of those options was to use ground-penetrating radar, which is the option Littlefield recommended to the BOC. “The most cost-effective way of determining that is using what we call ground-penetrating radar instead of going in and spending $30,000 to $40,000 of drilling. This will take care of both areas of interest,” Littlefield said. He said he hopes to find where the actual septic tank is so it can be removed, but he plans to leave the tile fields in place. “I’ve been told there were five different systems out there over the years for the different parts of the correctional institute,” Littlefield said. “The main thing is identifying if it (the septic tank) is there or not and if it is, that will eliminate a lot of this.” Littlefield said there is a slight possibility that it could be methane from an older landfill that was there, but he believes that it should have been basically generated and long gone by now.

BOC Chairman Clay Jones asked for a motion to approve an investigation to be conducted by TTL. Commissioner Torbert made the motion and was seconded by Commissioner Roberson seconded the motion. It was approved passed unanimously.

Littlefield also presented his report to the BOC about the paving of Bumphead Road, which is expected to begin on Monday, July 22 and to be completed before school starts on August 2. According to Littlefield, Reeves Construction will be in charge of the paving project. Littlefield went on to say that the company would also be paving McMath Mill Road, Pryor Road, and parts of New York Road as well.

Former Sumter County Fire Chief John Ekaitis was at Tuesday’s BOC meeting. Ekaitis recently accepted the position of Troup County Fire Chief. He expressed to the BOC his gratitude for their support of the Sumter County Fire Department and that it was a great seven and a half years of service.

Attorney Reid said that she needed to have a Closed Session to discuss personnel and litigation. County Clerk Rayetta Volley said she needed to have a Closed Session to discuss real estate. Jones asked for a motion for approval to go into Closed Session. Commissioner Torbert made a motion to go into Closed Session and Commissioner Roberson seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval to go into Closed Session passed unanimously.