County meeting addresses Magistrate Judge, property, and a loan for the landfill lift-station

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer’s Board of Commissioners dealt with approvals for issues surrounding maintenance, costs, and the magistrate office in February as they discussed pressing financial decisions for the county.

Returning again to county owned property in Coosawattee, Chairman Charlie Paris said that the board has previously agreed and approved the sale of the property. Paris said, “We are never going to do anything with that property, ever.”

While the previous bid held a minimum $500 bid, this time Paris originally suggested a $50 minimum. Post Commissioner Hubert Parker questioned if they should even put a minimum on the bid. County Attorney David Clark countered suggesting a nominal $1 minimum bid. With the board in agreement they are once again trying to shed the property so they will no longer need to plan the annual dues on it. Approved unanimously, the county is moving forward with the $1 minimum bid.

The county also saw an agenda item for approval of a Senior Magistrate Judge position. The topic goes all the way back to budget talks in October of 2020 when Magistrate Judge Kevin Johnson said he wanted to keep Magistrate Judge Roger Kincaid as a part-time Judge in 2021. The idea was not a new one as Kincaid had Judge Ken Roberts in a similar “associate” position to support him when needed. Johnson said it would also give him time to use Kincaid as a mentor and guide into the new role.

Commissioner Parker is now questioning the position approval for four years and funding for the position that he said was no approved in 2020 Budget Meetings.

Post Commissioner Karleen Ferguson also agreed saying that she also thought it was only supposed to be a 6 month to one year appointment.

Both Post Commissioners indicated that they wanted to find out more information so that they could know exactly what the path ahead entails and find answers to funding and other questions they have. The Board ultimately tabled the agenda item to pursue those questions. They will be revisiting the item in a Special Called Meeting towards the end of February.

Finally, another approval came as the board considered a loan for the lift-station project at the county landfill. The GEFA loan offers principal forgiveness to aid the county with additional funds for the project in terms of not having to repay that portion of the loan. Paris noted it is a loan the county anticipates repaying the loan very quickly and not looking at it as long-term debt. In addition to grant funds, the combination is driving down the costs to the county for the project.

The county approved taking the GEFA loan for the Landfill Lift Station/Force Main Project.

 

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