County Dips into Coffers, Approves Budget Amendment

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Gilmer County grew its budget last week by $132,128. During its meeting on Thursday, June 28th, The Board of Commissioners approved a considerable budget amendment, including EMA and newly acquired airport expenditures. The money for these expenditures was transferred from the county’s contingency fund, the county said.

According to the amendment $81, 806 were approved for the airport. The money will be used for operations and fuel cost, the county said. On the revenue side, the books reflect $39,678 for the airport. These changes in numbers are the result of the controversial May acquisition by the county of the operations portion of the airport. Previously, the airport was operated by Fixed Base Operator (FBO) Gilmer Aviation Incorporated, run by David and Nancy Isom. Mr. Isom passed away in 2010 and Mrs. Isom operated the airport until May of this year. In the final agreement, the county paid Isom $20,869.03 for the business. County Financial Officer Faye Harvey said the revenue comes from the fuel sales and hangar rentals.

Additionally, the EMA increases to the budget are the result of two grants, the first in the amount of $16,000 and the second, $15, 600, a hazard mitigation grant, for which the county will be reimbursed, said Harvey.

Other expenditures of the amendment include a $61,000 increase for courthouse maintenance and $45,000 for parks and recreation. During last Thursday’s workshop, Harvey explained that the courthouse maintenance included roof repair for damage done to the Goodwill and Health Department Building last year. In December 2011, she said, the county received $28,216 in insurance claims from ACCG (Association of County Commissioners of Georgia) for this damage. At the time, the county had not received bids for the repairs. Since this time, though, the work has been completed for a total of $35,785. The remaining portion of the amount will be used for contract renewals and licensing agreements for the computer systems in the courthouse. Currently, the county has a contract for its computer systems with ETC, which ends this October. According to Harvey, the two largest items are $4800 for Microsoft Licensing updates and $9875 for service security, both of which are three year agreements. Post One Commissioner Will Beattie, who works for ETC, said that he wouldn’t have anything to do with the contracts and licenses and encouraged the county to investigate the contracts to make sure everyone feels comfortable with the service.

Also, the $45,000 increase to the parks and recreation department will be used to complete the Clear Creek Ball Fields. The money was donated to the county last year by Amicalola Electric specifically for this purpose. As such, the money must be used for the project within a year.

The board also approved several contract bids for the county, while tabling others. The county awarded the fuel bid to Thomas Oil, which was 1.5 cents above rack price, Commission Chairman J.C. Sanford said. The oil bids, however, were tabled to further clarify information. The bid for stone used for paving was also tabled. Additionally, the propane bid was awarded to Appalachian Propane, which bid $1.38 per gallon, 1.5 cents below the price bid by Heritage Propane. Chairman Sanford noted the contract is a one-year contract, calling the price a substantial savings for the county. Hudson Materials out of Chattanooga won the bid for emulsion, also used for paving. However, in addition to the typical type of emulsion, GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) requires a new, special type of emulsion, which Sanford said the county will still have to bid out in the near future. Also, West Block won the concrete bid, while, C.W. Williams won the asphalt bid and Ultrapatch, the bid for cold mix, a type of asphalt used to fill pot-holes. Here, Sanford noted that the price of asphalt has increased since last year.

The tabled bids will likely be addressed at the July or August meetings.

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