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Commission approves extension of water lines to road

The McDuffie County Commission has approved spending $100,000 from a special account set aside for water and sewer services to provide water to Central Road Extension.

At the commission's June 21 meeting, Chairman Charlie Newton explained that residents had asked for water service after the county put water lines in on Wire Road, River Circle and Whiteoak Road. He said the county has $300,000 in grant funds from U.S. Department of Agriculture Redevelopment for the project.

Commissioner Paul McCorkle pointed out that the special fund is supposedly frozen, but Newton countered that there was no other funding for the project.

"That special account is SPLOST IV funds that were taken out of the SPLOST IV account to be spent on water and sewer," he said.

He said that the water hookups are voluntary and that the county has binding agreements with seven potential customers.

The commission approved the expenditure unanimously.

Also on the agenda was a request to reimburse the city from the same account for outstanding invoices on water-sewer work that has already been performed. A motion to approve that request died for lack of a second.

The special account has been a point of contention on the commission. Commissioner Fred Favors, who was absent from the June 21 meeting, contends that the board never approved creation of the account.

In other action, the board:

l Approved a contract for vending services in the new McDuffie County Government Center. Norton said the Georgia Department of Labor Business Enterprise Program was the only bidder. The program provides employment for the visually impaired, and Norton said it operates vending machines at a number of interstate welcome centers and military installations. He said that under the contract the county would receive $100 a month in revenue from the machines.

l Voted to designate the grounds of the government center as a no-smoking area. Sheriff Logan Marshall explained that smoking is prohibited in the building by state law but that if smoking is allowed outside cigarette butts will collect around the entrances.

"My idea is to have some type of a designated smoking area outside the building for employees, probably on the back side of the building, and obviously away from the doors," Norton said.

The sheriff said, however, that any designated area would have to accommodate the public in addition to employees.

"If you work for Shaw (Industries), you can't smoke on their premises, period," he said.

The commission voted to designate the entire grounds as a nonsmoking area but to revisit the question of a designated smoking area later.

The city council must also act on the request.

l Voted 3-1 to reclassify the information technology director's position from pay grade 22 to pay grade 24. Commissioner Sammie Wilson cast the only dissenting vote without comment.

The increase raises IT Director Raymond White's salary from about $46,000 to roughly $56,000 a year, Norton said.

"It is believed this action is justified not only because of the high level of technical knowledge and experience required, but also the fact that this position truly supports both the County government and the City of Thomson," Norton said in recommending the increase.

He also noted that the responsibilities are increasing with the move to the new building.

By BILL NORTON

Community News Editor

The McDuffie County Commission has approved spending $100,000 from a special account set aside for water and sewer services to provide water to Central Road Extension.

At the commission's June 21 meeting, Chairman Charlie Newton explained that residents had asked for water service after the county put water lines in on Wire Road, River Circle and Whiteoak Road. He said the county has $300,000 in grant funds from U.S. Department of Agriculture Redevelopment for the project.

Commissioner Paul McCorkle pointed out that the special fund is supposedly frozen, but Newton countered that there was no other funding for the project.

"That special account is SPLOST IV funds that were taken out of the SPLOST IV account to be spent on water and sewer," he said.

He said that the water hookups are voluntary and that the county has binding agreements with seven potential customers.

The commission approved the expenditure unanimously.

Also on the agenda was a request to reimburse the city from the same account for outstanding invoices on water-sewer work that has already been performed. A motion to approve that request died for lack of a second.

The special account has been a point of contention on the commission. Commissioner Fred Favors, who was absent from the June 21 meeting, contends that the board never approved creation of the account.

In other action, the board:

- Approved a contract for vending services in the new McDuffie County Government Center. Norton said the Georgia Department of Labor Business Enterprise Program was the only bidder. The program provides employment for the visually impaired, and Norton said it operates vending machines at a number of interstate welcome centers and military installations. He said that under the contract the county would receive $100 a month in revenue from the machines.

- Voted to designate the grounds of the government center as a no-smoking area. Sheriff Logan Marshall explained that smoking is prohibited in the building by state law but that if smoking is allowed outside cigarette butts will collect around the entrances.

"My idea is to have some type of a designated smoking area outside the building for employees, probably on the back side of the building, and obviously away from the doors," Norton said.

The sheriff said, however, that any designated area would have to accommodate the public in addition to employees.

"If you work for Shaw (Industries), you can't smoke on their premises, period," he said.

The commission voted to designate the entire grounds as a nonsmoking area but to revisit the question of a designated smoking area later.

The city council must also act on the request.

- Voted 3-1 to reclassify the information technology director's position from pay grade 22 to pay grade 24. Commissioner Sammie Wilson cast the only dissenting vote without comment.

The increase raises IT Director Raymond White's salary from about $46,000 to roughly $56,000 a year, Norton said.

"It is believed this action is justified not only because of the high level of technical knowledge and experience required, but also the fact that this position truly supports both the County government and the City of Thomson," Norton said in recommending the increase.

He also noted that the responsibilities are increasing with the move to the new building.



Web posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011













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