Public Hearings, updating zoning ordinances and SPLOST funds discussed at BOC Regular Meeting

Published 5:24 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2022

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AMERICUS – The Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) met on Tuesday evening, December 20, for their monthly regular meeting at the Sumter County Courthouse. Among the topics discussed at the meeting were zoning ordinances and amendments, two requests for RV placements and using $35,000 of SPLOST funds to purchase 100 loads of milled asphalt for the purpose of maintaining dirt roads.

Board Chairman Mark Waddell was out of town and Commissioner Scott Roberson, who has served the county for four years and did not seek re-election, chaired the meeting.

Roberson’s term ends at the end of this year and he will be succeeded by newly elected Commissioner David Baldwin, who will be representing the people of District Four for 2023.

There were two public hearing to consider the approval or denial of requests from Teresa Saint and William H. Brown III. The first public hearing dealt with

Saint’s request to place a recreational vehicle inside a mobile home park. Chief Jerry Harmon of Sumter County Fire and Rescue stated that that it is not permissible to place an RV inside a mobile home park and Saint’s request had already been denied by the Sumter County Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals. Commissioner Jesse Smith made a motion to deny the request and Commissioner Clay Jones seconded the motion. The BOC voted and Saint’s request was unanimously denied.

The second public hearing dealt with a request from William Brown III to turn his property into an RV park, which is located at 220 U.S. Highway 280 West in Americus and it is located within the general business district. County Attorney Hayden Hooks told the BOC that according to Heather Tyler of the Sumter County Planning and Zoning Board (SCPZB), Mr. Brown did not present his site plan to the SCPZB when he went before it to make his request, which is what he was supposed to have done. Chief Harmon, who was able to obtain Brown’s site plan, told the BOC that he spent 30 minutes going over it, but added that he didn’t think Brown’s site plan met the requirements. Commission Clay Jones said he was against approving Brown’s request because the area where Brown’s property is located is near where both McDonalds and Perry Brothers Automotive are located and there is a neighborhood located behind there. “I wouldn’t want one behind my house,” Jones said. Commissioner Smith stated that he agreed with Jones for the same reason and did not have a good feeling about it. Commissioner Roberson asked for a motion to deny Brown’s request. Commissioner Smith made a motion for denial, Commissioner Jones seconded the motion and the BOC voted unanimously to deny Brown’s request.

The Commissioners also had a discussion about American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. According to County Operations Administrator Rayetta Volley, the total amount of ARPA funds to be used to do replacements is $217,222.89. Volley went on to say that they plan to use the ARPA funds to do these needed replacements in various county offices. Commissioner Roberson asked for a motion to approve the replacement of certain computers that are listed to be replaced. Commissioner Smith made a motion for approval and Commissioner Jim Reid second the motion. The BOC voted and the motion to approve passed unanimously.

The BOC also discussed zoning ordinances, which according to Hayden Hooks, haven’t been updated since the year 2000. She added that a law firm named Jenkins-Bowen estimated that it would cost $10,000 in attorneys fees to review these ordinances. Chief Harmon stated that updating the zoning ordinances was discussed before when Janice Jarvis was the county’s financial director and added that the county has been working to make changes on a lot of the zoning ordinances, as it pertains to Sumter County Fire and Rescue. No approvals were made regarding the proposed updated zoning ordinances, but the subject might be addressed at the BOC’s work session on Tuesday, January 3.

In other business, the BOC approved the ratification of the approval to purchase approximately 100 loads of milled asphalt from Zane Grace Construction Company to do maintenance on dirt roads and using $35,000 from SPLOST funds to make that purchase. If there are more than 100 loads available, the approval allows for purchasing the excess milled asphalt at the same price, but the price is not to exceed $40,000 for the total purchase of 115 loads. Commissioner Smith made a motion for approval and Commissioner Jones seconded the motion. The BOC voted unanimously to approve the ratification.