Twelve minutes for their first-ever dial-in Lowndes County Commission meeting.
That’s longer than many of their in-person meetings, maybe because the Chairman had the Clerk call roll for the Commissioners for each vote. Both votes were unanimous with no discussion. Nobody explained why these items were important enough for a Special Called Meeting.
Before the meeting, in the room they had already Chairman Bill Slaughter, County Clerk Paige Dukes, Finance Director Stephanie Black, County Engineer Mike Fletcher, and maybe a few more (Tom?).
- Call to Order
Chairman Bill Slaughter called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM sharp. Per roll call by County Clerk Paige Dukes, on the phone they’ve got Commissioners Joyce Evans, Clay Griner, Mark Wisenbaker, Scottie Orenstein, but not Demarcus Marshall, who had something come up, plus the Attorney Walter G. Elliott.
- For Consideration
- Expenditure of Hotel/Motel Tax Proceeds for Tourism Product
Recommended Action: Option 1
County Manager Joe Pritchard explained the Hotel/Motel tax and tournaments, which used to be run by a sporting commission but now is run by Parks and Rec (VLPRA). So now he wants to transfer the 1 cent tax from the Conference Center to VLPRA. Approximately $67,000 previously anticipated, with pandemic now more likely $50,000. Other funds, approx. $200,000, go to Tourism, plus $100,000 for special services, still go to Conference Center and Tourism Authority. This proposal started when Molly Deese was Chair at Tourism; Attorney and Chairman informed her.
Attorney Elliott further explained advertising vs. tournaments, or “tourism product development”, which includes meeting, convention, and assembly facilities. But parks and rec facilities also qualify. It’s the 1 cent for tpd that is being transferred.
Motion made by Scottie Orenstein seconded by Joyce Evans to transfer the tax, effective in July. No discussion. All aye on a roll call vote.
- Just Compensation — ROW Parcel 33 Clyattstone Rd. Simpson
Ln. TSPLOST Project
Recommended Action: Approve
Presented by County Engineer Mike Fletcher. 1.47 right of way and less than an acre of drainage for Simpson Lane. County hired Bajalia & Assoc. to appraise: $1,944.
“Tom” (who?) further explained that this particular parcel is being condemned because it has 24 owners, some of whom are elsewhere, including out of state, “literally spread throughout the southeast.” He says this is $1944 plus 50% valuation range for “quote-unquote just compensation.” That apparently means negotiation range up to $2916.
Commissioner Griner moved for the compensation, Orenstein seconded. No discussion. All aye on roll call (again by County Clerk).
- Expenditure of Hotel/Motel Tax Proceeds for Tourism Product Development
Several commissioners said motion to adjourn, nobody seconded, there was no vote, but Chairman called it adjourned and ended the call at 9:42 AM. That’s 12 minutes, which is longer than many of their in-person meetings.
As predicted, all citizens on the call were muted and had no opportunity to speak. We shall see whether a video appears on the county’s YouTube channel.
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