Commissioners asked for go-ahead on spec building plans

By Linton Johnson

The Elbert County Board of Commissioners held a work session Thursday and heard a request from Development Authority Executive Director Rusty Warner to move forward with the planning process for development of a speculative building to be located on a 17.6-acre site in the industrial park on Mineral Springs Road.
Warner said the first step is to develop a request for proposals from qualified builders. The commissioners took no action on the request Thursday, but County Administrator Bob Thomas recommended forming a committee to work on the planning process for the speculative building.
Representatives of Elbert Memorial Hospital and the Hospital Authority provided an update for the commissioners on recent developments and begin discussions on the county tax support for the hospital in the new fiscal year. Authority Chairman Daniel Graves said thanks to recent improvements in the hospital’s overall financial position, the authority is asking only for the same amount of property tax funding it received in fiscal year 2018, which was $1.2 million. Commission Chairman Tommy Lyon said the millage rate would be set after the tax digest is finalized in September.
Athens Technical College President Andrea Daniel was also on hand to thank county officials for their support of the college’s Elbert County Campus and updated the commissioners on recent projects and academic program enhancements, including the commercial truck driving education facility and evening classes for the licensed practical nursing program.
In other agenda items, the commissioners discussed an addition to the county’s personnel policy to cover compliance with the state’s new hands-free law on distracted driving, a proposed new ordinance to regulate and administer small solar facilities and larger solar farms in Elbert County and the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of $4 billion in loan funding to rural communities for the possible development of water infrastructure in unincorporated Elbert County.

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