During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners held its third public hearing on setting the tax millage rates for the upcoming year.
Once the public hearing was closed, commissioners unanimously approved a motion to set the tax millage rate at what had been recommended, with a full rollback in millage for both the general fund and the park bond debt service and no rollback on the rates for the fire fund. It was recommended not to roll back the tax mills on the fire fund so that the county could continue pushing toward its goal of having three firefighters per apparatus, which would also help lower the county’s ISO rating to help with insurance rates.
During the hearing, it was explained that, due to a slight change in the tax digest, the county would have to use slightly more of its reserves to meet the proposed budget for the upcoming year, with the general fund now requiring $2.72 million of its reserves to be used (up from $2.63 million) and the fire fund needing to use $560,000 (up from $485,000). Despite this increase, however, the reserve usage was still lower than what has been used in previous years. According to the presentation given during the hearing, by approving this set of millage rates, the average homeowner in Cherokee County could see their property tax bill decrease by around $18.22.
Along with approving the tax millage rates for the county’s general fund, fire fund and park bond debt service, the commissioners approved the 19.45 mills set by the Cherokee County School District for the upcoming year as a formality.
The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners also took action on the following:
♦ A motion to approve service delivery strategy form 2’s as required by the Department of Community Affairs was approved. It was also announced mediation between the county and cities within the county on the service delivery strategy issue was scheduled for August.
♦ The consent agenda, which included calling for a public hearing to be conducted on amendments to the Cherokee County Zoning Ordinance, a model template agreement related to advertisements on the fleet of CATS buses, the final acceptance of all public rights-of-way, roadways and drainage structures in the Holly Commons Phase II subdivision, a grant of revised sewer line easement to the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority for the Riverchase Sewer Line Upgrade project and a supplemental agreement for pavement striping on East Cherokee Drive and Hickory Road, was approved.
♦ The board approved the reappointment of Donna Ratliff, Ollie Cushing and Nina Morris to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services Board.
♦ Commissioner Benny Carter appointed Mark Preetorius to fill a term on the Cherokee Recreation and Park Advisory Board expiring in December 2020, as well as Berry Dabbs, Jr. to the Fire Code Appeals Board for a term also ending in December 2020.
♦ An intergovernmental agreement between the county and the Cherokee County Airport Authority was approved. This agreement involved mowing services undertaken at the airport, protecting county employees mowing along the right of way at the airport should any foreign object be thrown onto the runway and cause problems for airplanes taking off or landing.
♦ The board approved the purchase of a Ford F-250 for the county’s property management department from the lowest bidder, King Ford, in the amount of $32,203.80.
♦ A municipal services agreement between the county and the City of Nelson for animal welfare services was approved.
♦ Amendments to the 2016, 2017 and 2019 annual action plans from the county’s community development block grant program were approved. These amendments allowed $150,000 that had remained unspent to be reallocated to other agencies.
♦ A motion to approve accepting a subgrant agreement on behalf of the county juvenile court, requiring a budget amendment for $161,514 was passed.
The next meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will be Tuesday, Aug. 6. The meeting will begin with a work session at 3 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m.