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February 1st Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Two bridges over Mill Creek will be replaced at a savings to the county of about $3 million.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners approved two Memorandums of Agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for right-of-way acquisition. GDOT will be replacing the Waters Road bridge and the Vaughn Road bridge, both over Mill Creek and both currently weight restricted.

County Manager Geoff Morton told the Board Feb. 1 that both bridges are included in GDOT’s Local Bridge Replacement Program.

“Under the program and the MOA, GDOT will engineer and construct those bridges,” Morton said, adding the county, under the MOA, will provide $50,000 for each project for right-of-way acquisition. GDOT is funding the rest.

Each project is slated for right-of-way acquisition in 2023 and construction in 2025, and costs total about $1.5 million each.

“Thank you to GDOT for helping the county with both of these bridges,” Chairman Harry Johnston said.

District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter made the motion to approve the Waters Road MOA, which was seconded by District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby. The vote was 5-0.

Commissioner Weatherby made the motion to approve the Vaughn Road MOA, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The vote was 5-0.

During the Feb. 1 meeting, the Board also:

· Proclaimed the first Thursday of every February as Optimist Day in Cherokee County. Feb. 3 is Optimist Day for 2022.

· Proclaimed Feb. 14 as Rotary Has Heart Day and Feb. 23, 2022 as Rotary Day for Rotary’s 117th Birthday.

· Announced that the Lake Allatoona Association Board members will make a presentation Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. in Cherokee Hall on the results of the Noonday Creek Trash Trap Study conducted by the association.

· Heard from Commissioner Weatherby who announced the county is under contract for 40 acres of property at East Cherokee Drive for parkland in Hickory Flat. He also announced that Hazel Creek Properties, which had been sent back to Planning Commission, is still working with GDOT, and no action on that case would be taken at the Planning Commission meeting that evening.

· Approved, 5-0, the minutes from the Jan. 18 work session, executive session and regular meeting. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Held a public hearing on the use of recreational vehicles as a residence. No one spoke. The change to the ordinance allows people to live in an RV on a temporary basis – no more than 30 days in a 90-day period. Commissioner Carter made the motion to approve the changes, which was seconded by District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale. The vote was 5-0.

· Held a public hearing to remove physical description of animal under the Public Nuisance Animal Section of Article II in Chapter 10. The request comes from the Marshal’s Office and Commissioner Weatherby. The edit allows the Marshal’s Office more discretion in identifying an animal causing a public nuisance. No one spoke. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion to approve the ordinance as presented, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The vote was 5-0.

· Held a public hearing related to revisions to the standards for all single-family and multi-family zoning districts. This change comes from the staff research during the recent moratorium, which expires Feb. 19. Staff is seeking to revise rules and definitions including “For Rent,” “For Rent Community,” “For Sale,” and “For Sale Community.” Four people spoke, including a representative from the Council for Quality Growth and a representative from the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association. No action was taken. The Board will consider the revisions at its Feb. 15 meeting.

· Held a public hearing related to platting and permitting standards. No one spoke. The revisions update Section 7.1 of Article 7 that would require a developer to state the intended purpose (for rent or for sale) of the proposed development. Additionally, revisions would require the purpose to be restated should the Land Disturbance Permit be transferred to someone else. No action was taken. The Board will consider the revisions at its Feb. 15 meeting.

· Held a public hearing related to private street and development standards. Community Development Agency Director Brantley Day said when streets are made private, that includes all curb and gutter, drainage system, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping go as well and have to be maintained in perpetuity by likely an HOA. Day said thoughtful consideration needs to be given when making streets private because there is opportunity for an HOA to come to the county years later asking for the county to take back the streets. The proposed changes would tighten

up some areas related to model homes, including model homes cannot be on septic and model homes must be fully converted to residential use. One person spoke during the public hearing. No action was taken. The Board will consider the revisions at its Feb. 15 meeting.

· Held a public hearing regarding an amendment to the Sixes TND Master Plan for Cherokee Growth LLC. No one spoke. Cherokee Growth LLC is proposing a 25,000-square-foot medical office building next to the existing self-storage facility on Sixes Road at Ridge Road. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion to approve the amendment to the master plan, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The vote was 5-0.

· Approved, 5-0, Comfort Heating & Cooling’s request for a Special Use Permit for its business at 2905 Marietta Highway. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.

· Remanded back to Planning Commission Manor Restoration LLC’s request to rezone 15.35 acres from R-40 to General Commercial and RM-16 (Multi-Family Residential) on Ball Ground Highway. Planning Commission recommended denial. The applicant made changes to the plan and requested the case be sent back to Planning Commission. District 1 Commissioner Steve West made the motion to remand the case to Planning Commission, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby. The vote was 5-0.

· Tabled, with a 5-0 vote, Univeter Properties LLC’s request to rezone 18.14 acres from R-80 to Light Industrial and R-40 for an R-40 rural subdivision of eight lots and a self-storage facility. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion to table, which was seconded by Commissioner West.

· Approved, 5-0, Action Technologies LLC’s request to rezone 11.46 acres from General Commercial and R-40 with Highway 92 Overlay to RTH (townhomes) and General Commercial. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion to approve, adding a condition requested by the applicant that the project be for sale homes with only 10 percent rental. Commissioner Weatherby seconded.

· Approved, 5-0, the qualifying fee for the special election for Tax Commissioner at $2,533.76. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Approved, 5-0, reallocating unassigned CARES Act CDBG supplemental funds to Heritage Presbyterian Church for reimbursement of expenditures related to its food pantry response to the pandemic, as well as a corresponding update to the CDBG Action Plan. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Approved, 5-0, an agreement with Coach and Equipment Bus Sales for the purchase of three new propane fueled buses for $307,553. CATS previously attempted to purchases buses under a state contract but those buses were never delivered or paid for. This agreement is in lieu of the previously approved agreement. The cost is covered by FTA Grant funds and SPLOST funds. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Approved, 5-0, a development agreement for road connection between East Rope Mill Road and Holly Springs Parkway. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.

· Approved, 5-0, an amendment to the agreement with VHB, Inc. to complete final construction plans for Phase 1 of the Heard Road Extension Project. The cost is $174,000. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.

· Approved, 5-0, an amendment to the agreement with VHB, Inc. to complete sanitary sewer plans for the Bells Ferry Widening project in the amount of $32,600. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Approved, 5-0, awarding a standard construction agreement with Colditz Trucking, the low bidder, for construction of the Wiley Bridge Road at Cox Road roundabout project. The cost is $859,592.98. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.

· Approved, 5-0, a standard professional services agreement with Krown USA to provide uniforms for Cherokee Youth Softball. The uniform costs are covered by participant fees. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Approved, 5-0, revisions to the procurement ordinance to update the formal bidding threshold to allowed greater flexibility in awarding contracts up to $100,000 and to add Appendix A to address how the county will award contracts to suppliers using federal grant funds. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.

· Approved, 5-0, a construction services agreement on behalf of the fire department with W.L. Griffin Company for the installation of a package wastewater lift station and force main at Fire Station 5. The amount is $133,965 with a $5,000 county-controlled contingency. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Approved, 5-0, a three-year rental agreement for property at 154 North St. for court staff. The cost is $3,200 a month for 3,200 square feet of office space. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

· Approved, 5-0, a housing inventory needs assessment and corresponding MOU in the amount of $30,000 to be conducted by MUST Ministries in conjunction with United Way acting as fiscal agent. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.

· Approved, 5-0, after adding the item to the agenda following executive session, a resolution that increases State Court judge pay to 95 percent of Superior Court judge pay, which is set by the state. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.

· Approved, 5-0, after adding the item to the agenda following executive session, a resolution to increase the pay for the elected Sheriff to 100 percent of Superior Court judge pay as set by the state. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.

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