Polk County Commission honors retired teachers

The Polk County Commission honored veteran educators for Retired Teachers Day 2017. Commissioner Jennifer Hulsey (left) presented the proclamation. (Kevin Myrick/Standard Journal)

The Polk County Commission breezed through a busy agenda during their November session as they greeted a new member to a now full board for his first meeting as the 2017 calendar year near an end.

Commissioners all welcomed new District 3 Commissioner Hal Floyd to their ranks during the Nov. 7 regular session and got down to business in approving several spending measures, reappointing those holding seats on boards and committees in the area, and even giving their thumbs up to the 2018 paving list.

Here’s a rundown of the November meeting and what was given a ‘yes’ vote for the month:

Recognizing retired teachers

The Polk County Commission gave their approval of a proclamation read by Vice Chair Jennifer Hulsey to honor educators who spent their careers serving Polk County’s children in the classroom.

Hulsey, a Cedartown Middle School English teacher, read off the proclamation at the meeting’s beginning after the Commissioners voted to move around the agenda on Tuesday night, allowing for retired educators to be honored first.

The annual celebration of Retired Teachers Day was held on Sunday, Nov. 5 and educators were also honored during several local church services.

Several miles to be paved

One of the ways the State of Georgia is helping improve highways and byways is providing counties and cities with additional funding in the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program, meant to help pay for paving of thousands of miles of roadway and ensure infrastructure is continuing to improve.

This year, nearly a dozen miles is expected to get a new layer of asphalt in Polk County as commissioners approved a list for the coming year for the Public Works department to focus on locally.

Before commissioners voted unanimously to approve the coming year’s paving projects and road improvements in the unincorporated areas, Floyd sought to find out what priority roads are being given for the work.

Public Works Director Michael Gravett told the board that his crews would start from a central location and move outward in their paving work, seeking to keep the amount of movement of equipment to an absolute minimum.

Additionally, commissioners approved bids from Peek Pavement Marking of $62,148, which would cover the costs of painting road striping on those streets which received new layers of asphalt during the 2017 paving season. They also voted yes to spend $8,060 to pay for guardrail repairs as well.

Board assignments, airport consultants remain same

Several local board appointments will keep those members who wish to continue to serve in place after the commission voted yes on several positions, and also decided to keep their airport consultant group in place as well.

Commissioners voted yes to keep Chuck Wright on the Board of Assessors, Karen Nissen on the Development Authority of Polk County, and gave Shannon Hicks the job of serving on the Animal Control Committee for the coming years in all three positions.

Additionally, unanimous approval was given to keep CDM Smith as the airport consultants to work on various projects put forth by the Department of Transportation’s Aviation division, and the Federal Aviation Administration at Cornelius Field.

Commissioner Jose Iglesias asked about the consultants in his quest to learn more about those companies and organizations who are contracted to work with the county, specifically about what safeguards are in place to ensure they are completing tasks in a timely fashion.

County Manager Matt Denton said that CDM Smith has been a long term contractor with the county, most recently responsible for organizing required glide path clearing projects in the past years.

However their contract is reviewed annually, and if problems were to ever arise another company could potentially be sought out to take on the work, Denton said.

More items of note

Among the other business the county commissioners voted on, they approved spending for a new Public Works purchase of a vehicle diagnostic system, a in-car camera recording system for the Polk County Police Department, and paying for a required group policy to cover local firefighters in the County’s volunteer-based department from the Association of County Commissions and Governments for $13,172.

The board voted yes for a Special Land Use Permit for a consignment shop to operate at 2463/2475 Cedartown Highway, Rockmart on property owned by Beverly Cline.

Additionally, the county moved meeting dates in December to Dec. 11 and Dec. 12 to allow for a pair of commissioners to visit Washington, D.C. as part of an ACCG-organized effort to gain federal support for state and local causes. They also moved the January scheduled dates of Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 to Jan. 8 and Jan. 9 for the work session and regular meeting in observance of the New Year’s holiday.